City of Reno


Downtown Action Plan Update including recommendations for the physical framework, the action plan, implementation, funding and creation of a Downtown Management Organization/Business Improvement District - Brad Segal, President, Progressive Urban Management Associates (PUMA). (For Possible Action)


Department:City Manager's OfficeSponsors:

Meeting History

Feb 15, 2017 6:00 PM Video Reno City Council Special

Bill Dunne, Revitalization Manager, said that tonight the Council is being presented with a draft of the City of Reno Downtown Action Plan. Staff is requesting that the Council Members review the plan and provide feedback to staff by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 3, 2017. Staff then proposes to return to the Council on April 12, 2017 for approval of the final plan.

Brad Segal, President of Progressive Urban Management Associates (PUMA), presented an overview of the agenda, purpose of the Downtown Action Plan, study area, and core values included in the study.

J.J. Folsom, Senior Associate with PUMA, provided detailed information on the plan's framework including the local economy, blighted/underutilized properties, jobs, innovation, transit issues, entertainment and the environment.

Mr. Segal provided details regarding the proposed Action Plan, including the economy, environment and experience. He also discussed potential funding sources for implementation of the Action Plan and creation of a downtown management organization.

Mayor Schieve called for public comment.

Landon D. Mack, 300 North Virginia Street, representing Palace Jewelry and Loan, discussed the advantages of implementing the plan.

Darrell Clifton, 450 North Arlington Avenue #1204, President of the Regional Alliance for Downtown, stated RAD's support for the Downtown Action Plan.

Greg Stevens, 4345 Bitterfoot Road, stated concern about safety issues in downtown Reno.

David Pritchett, Midtown resident, said that equity and a human component should be included in the plan.

Fred Boyd, no address provided, discussed the need for additional police officers in downtown Reno.

Stacey Payne, 695 West Arroyo Street, discussed concerns regarding the availability of substance abuse services and low income housing.

Council Member McKenzie said that the report contains good information and ideas, and he will peruse it in detail and provide input to staff. His main concern, he said, is the funding piece for downtown service levels considering the current hole in the City's budget. He mentioned the possible expansion of the downtown district, and requested that legal counsel evaluate the implications of PUMA's suggestion of imposing impact fees on liquor and marijuana. He stated support for the proposed ambassadors program noting that if the City wants enhanced services in downtown Reno, they will have to find at least $1,000,000, which does not provide anything for the rest of the City.

Council Member Duerr said that she also believes the funding plan comes up approximately $1,000,000 short, and requested that PUMA provide rough estimates of potential income that would be generated by the proposed liquor and marijuana tax, etc. She stated her support for the proposed art hub, and concerns that the City of Reno has a very low per capita ratio of police officers to citizens.

Council Member Brekhus said that the plan is timely. The urban design focus is key to the plan and the momentum should be sustained. Downtown Reno should be the starting place for any private investing in this region and if it is not we need to ask ourselves why. She discussed the potential difficulty of finding an executive director for the proposed business improvement district (BID), police budgeting issues, and the hope that ambassadors will help solve the issues.

Council Member Jardon discussed the importance of the stakeholders, including the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), in helping the City address their social and financial issues.

Mayor Schieve said that downtown should be the City's crown jewel. The product we sell at the City is quality of life. The public and private entities are ready to move forward, and we cannot afford to lose our momentum. We need the stakeholders' feedback, your buy-in and your blessing to make this go forward. She stated that public safety cannot in any way be compromised.

Council Member Brekhus discussed the parameters for entering into an agreement for the proposed BID.

Council Member McKenzie said that if the private sector is indeed willing to step up and provide funding, then the appropriate funding mechanism for the bid is to move the Downtown Maintenance District underneath the bid and have the private sector fund the other needs of the bid. If the private sector does not put the funding into the bid, then the bid goes away. The executive director and the ambassadors can be funded by the bid, and they can do their own expansion as they see fit, but leave the Downtown Police Special Assessment District in place.

Mr. Segal thanked City staff, and in particular Bill Dunne, for their assistance throughout the process.