City of Reno

Staff Report

Staff Report (For Possible Action): Presentation, discussion, and potential direction to staff on Zoning Code RENOvation Issue Sheet 3A (Administration and Procedures) which may include review of development review process improvements, new tools for design alternatives and flexibility, project approval and findings, planned unit developments and specific plan districts, the code update process and meeting schedule, and other matters properly related thereto.


Department:Community Development - PlanningSponsors:
Category:Status UpdateProjects:Implement Zoning Code Update (Tier 2), Streamline Planning and Building Process (Tier 2)

Recommendation and Proposed Motion

Recommendation:  Staff recommends Council review the staff and Planning Commission recommendations and provide policy level direction to the code drafting team.


Proposed Motion:  I move to accept the Issue Sheet recommendations with the following changes: [__________________].

Staff Report Formal Body

Summary:  Attached are Issue Sheet 3A (Administration and Procedures) and draft minutes from the August 21, 2019 Planning Commission review meeting. This is the fifth and final issue sheet providing high-level direction for the Development Code Update.


The Council should review the issue sheet and Planning Commission recommendations and provide direction to staff.


Previous Council Action:


·         August 14, 2019 - Council provided direction on Issue Sheets 2B related to site and building design standards.

·         July 31, 2019 - Council provided direction on Issue Sheets 2A related to development standard update topics.

·         June 5, 2019 – Council provided direction on Issue Sheets 1C related to residential zoning districts.

·         May 8, 2019 – Council provided direction on Issue Sheets 1A and 1B related to nonresidential and mixed use zoning districts.

·         March 27, 2019 – Council provided input on process to provide monthly updates and Planning Commission recommendations.

·         January 29, 2019 – Council and the Planning Commission provided direction on recommended approaches for drafting updated zoning districts and land uses, development standards, and procedures in Title 18.

·         October 10, 2018 – Council provided input on the recommendations in the Annexation and Land Development Code Targeted Assessment Report.

·         August 22, 2018 – Council approved a consulting agreement with Clarion Associates for services related to the comprehensive code update.

·         April 25, 2018 – Staff presented an overview of plans to update the City’s zoning code.


Background:  Issue sheets identify potential code amendment topics based on Master Plan policies and public input. Council direction on these topics will guide development of the draft code language and will establish preliminary “side rails” for the code update team. This is the final issue sheet review meeting.  Later meetings will address the draft code modules and the consolidated code.


The topics addressed in the issue sheets include:

1.      Zoning Districts and Uses - Nonresidential and Mixed Use Areas (done)

2.      Zoning Districts and Uses - Neighborhoods (done)

3.      Development Standard Amendment Topics (done)

4.      Site and Building Design Standards (done)

5.      Administration and Procedures (this meeting)

6.      Contingency Meeting for Outstanding Topics (not necessary) 


Discussion:  Issue Sheet 3A outlines potential changes to the development review process. The issue sheet outlines recommendations for the following topics:

1.      Development review process improvements;

2.      New tools for design alternatives and flexibility:

3.      Project approval Findings; and

4.      Planned Unit Developments and Specific Plan Districts.

The Technical Working Group (TWG) reviewed Issue Sheet 3A at their August 20 meeting. The TWG generally supported recommendations outlined in the issue sheet and suggested additional amendments to further streamline the development review process:

·         Consider renaming “Special Use Permit” to “Conditional Use Permit”.

·         Differentiate Conditional Use Permits for use approvals and Site Plan Reviews for design approvals.

·         Consider administrative approval authority for smaller Conditional Use Permits and Site Plan Reviews.

·         Consider additional discretionary review exceptions for residential adjacency across the Truckee River and railroad tracks.

·         Support for site plan review appeals going directly to the City Council.

·         Support for proposed tools for design alternatives (with additional administrative approval authority).

·         Support for updated project findings.

·         Support for codes that allow and do not discourage Specific Plan District and Planned Unit Developments zoning districts.


The Planning Commission reviewed Issue Sheet 3A and the recommendations of the TWG at their August 21 meeting.


Regarding topic 1 (development review process improvements), the Planning Commission generally supported the issue sheet recommendations. Commissioners noted support for streamlining small project review procedures, balanced with the importance of project noticing and Planning Commission project reviews. Some Commissioners suggested the issue sheet recommendations may be a little too streamlined.


Regarding topic 2 (new tools for design alternatives), the Planning Commission concurred with the staff and TWG recommendations.


Regarding topic 3 (project approval findings), the Planning Commission concurred with the staff and TWG recommendations.


Regarding topic 4 (planned unit developments and specific plan districts), the Planning Commission recommended that the updated code provide additional guidelines for Specific Plan Districts and Planned Unit Developments, but not seek to discourage their use.


Financial Implications:  None at this time


Legal Implications:  None at this time.