City of Reno
Nevada

Staff Report - Planning Commission
11394

Staff Report (For Possible Action - Recommendation to City Council): Case No. LDC20-00001 (Reno Logistics Center Zoning Map Amendment) - A request has been made for a zoning map amendment from Mixed Use/North Virginia Street Transit Corridor (MU/NVTC) to Industrial (I). The ±74.62 acre site consists of eight parcels located south of North Virginia Street, ±0.47 miles northwest of the West Golden Valley Road/North Virginia Street intersection and ±0.14 miles southeast of the Lemmon Drive/North Virginia Street intersection. The site has Master Plan land use designation of Industrial (I). kwc

Information

Department:Community Development - PlanningSponsors:
Category:OrdinanceWards:Ward 4

Staff Report Formal Body

Ward #:

4

Case No.:

LDC20-00001 (Reno Logistics Center Zoning Map Amendment)

Applicant:

Acres Advisory Group, LLC

APN:

082-270-21, 22, 23, 29, 30, 31, 32, and 33

Request:

A request has been made for a zoning map amendment from Mixed Use/North Virginia Street Transit Corridor (MU/NVTC) to Industrial (I). 

Location:

The ±74.62 acre site consists of eight parcels located south of North Virginia Street, ±0.47 miles northwest of the West Golden Valley Road/North Virginia Street intersection and ±0.14 miles southeast of the Lemmon Drive/North Virginia Street intersection.  The site has Master Plan land use designation of Industrial (I).

Proposed Motion:

Based upon compliance with the applicable findings, I move to recommend that City Council approve the zoning map amendment by ordinance.

 

Background:  The subject site consists of eight parcels. The site is primarily vacant with the exception of an unoccupied ±7,200 square foot warehouse building located on the northwest portion of the site (APN 082-270-30), numerous vacant and deteriorated outbuildings, and concrete pads scattered throughout the site.  Application materials indicate the site was previously used as a mining and/or gravel excavation facility and was heavily disturbed sometime prior to 1994, at which time it was located in unincorporated Washoe County.

 

The subject site is located within the Mixed Use/North Virginia Transit Corridor (MU/NVTC) zoning district.  With the adoption of the ReImagine Reno Master Plan, portions of the NVTC were re-designated from Special Planning Area to Industrial in order to support additional employment and industrial development.  The need for additional industrial land was identified in the Employment Demand Forecast and Needs Assessment prepared in 2016.  The requested zoning map amendment from MU/NVTC to Industrial (I) would result in a shift from previously adopted Mixed Use to Industrial development standards in support of the recently adopted Master Plan (Exhibit A). 

 

Analysis:  Per Reno Municipal Code (RMC), the current MU/NVTC zoning designation provides for a wide variety of residential, commercial, recreational and entertainment, lodging, institutional, and industrial uses (Exhibit B).  While the MU/NVTC zoning designation includes a variety of allowed uses, the ReImagine Reno Master Plan identifies a specific need for additional industrial uses within the City of Reno.  The requested zoning map amendment to the I zone will offer more predictability that uses identified in the Employment Demand Forecast and Needs Assessment will be developed on the site.

 

Zoning Map Amendment Findings:  As set forth in Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) Section 278.250(2) (Zoning Districts and Regulations), the Planning Commission and City Council are required to find that the zoning map amendment is in accordance with the Master Plan and is designed to meet the following requirements, as applicable.  The following zoning map amendment findings analysis evaluates the appropriateness of the I zoning designation for the subject site and not the suitability of a particular land use.

a.      To preserve the quality of air and water resources.

The map for Hydrologic Resources and Watercourses in the Reimagine Reno Master Plan identifies “ephemeral or intermittent streams, rivers, and other watercourses” on the site.  No information was provided with the application that identifies whether these watercourses are considered significant hydrologic features or classified as major drainage ways.  Should future development propose a disturbance of a major drainage way, a special use permit (SUP) will be required and subject to the standards of RMC Article XIX (Drainage Way Protection Standards).  In addition, any development within 150 feet of any wetlands, stream environments, or significant hydrological resources, will be subject to the protection standards of RMC Article XVIII (Wetlands and Stream Environment Protection Standards).

 

The proposed zoning map amendment will not have an impact on air quality and water resources.  Proposals for future development and future uses will be required to comply with established air quality standards.  Comments provided by the Washoe County Health District - Air Quality Management Division (WCHD-AQMD) note that current ozone levels for Washoe County are near “non attainment” levels (Exhibit C).  Comments further indicate being designated as a non-attainment area can have long term negative health and economic effects on a community.  WCHD-AQMD recommendations include reduced vehicle trips, electric vehicle charging capabilities, energy efficient building practices, increased tree canopy coverage, use of low impact development (LID) practices, and use of clean construction practices.  The subject site is located along an existing transit line with multiple bus stops located directly adjacent to the site, which will assist in reducing potential carbon emissions generated by vehicular traffic associated with future development. However, future development should consider incorporating development practices listed above to help mitigate impacts to the region. In addition, as part of the Zoning Code update, staff will be seeking input from WCHD-AQMD on their recommendations for updated standards that may further address air quality concerns as new development is being proposed. 

b.      To promote the conservation of open space and the protection of other natural and scenic resources from unreasonable impairment.

The subject site is currently zoned MU/NVTC.  The site is bound by the Stead railroad spur to the south, North Virginia Street to the north and privately owned properties to the east and west.  This zoning map amendment would not impact open space. 

 

As discussed previously, any future development that proposes to disturb a natural major drainage way will be required to obtain approval of a SUP and any development within 150 feet of a wetland, stream environment, or significant hydrological resource will be subject to the protection standards of RMC Article XVIII (Wetlands and Stream Environment Protection Standards).  Also, based on site topography, future development will likely require grading that results in cut slopes of 20 feet or greater in depth or fill slopes ten feet or greater in height, requiring approval of a SUP.  Impacts of proposed future development on natural resources, or scenic features will be further evaluated at the time development is proposed.

c.       To consider existing views and access to solar resources by studying the height of new buildings which will cast shadows on surrounding residential and commercial developments.

The nearest existing residential uses within proximity to the subject site are located directly to the west and include a single-family residence and a mobile home that are both zoned MU/NVTC.  These residences are located ±22 feet and ±50 feet from western property line of the subject site, respectively.  Future development of the site will be required to obtain approval of a SUP due to residential adjacency and building heights and setbacks will be analyzed at that time. Also, future development will be evaluated for compliance with RMC 18.12.301(c) (Shading of Parks and Residences), which restricts the casting of shadows onto residential structures for buildings greater than 35 feet in height.  No impacts to existing views or solar resources are anticipated at this time.

d.      To reduce the consumption of energy by encouraging the use of products and materials which maximize energy efficiency in the construction of buildings.

Energy consumption and the use of energy efficient products are addressed through code compliance when new construction or improvements to the subject site are proposed.

e.       To provide for recreational needs.

The requested zoning map amendment to Industrial will support opportunities for future employment uses to be developed on the site.  Exhibit B includes the list of allowed uses for both the MU/NVTC and I zoning districts.  While industrial related uses do not generally warrant recreational amenities, connectivity via sidewalks and between developments would be required with future development.  This request does not affect recreational opportunities in the area, nor is it anticipated that development of the site will generate a need for use of the site for recreation purposes.

f.        To protect life and property in areas subject to floods, landslides and other natural disasters.

The requested zoning map amendment will not subject the site or surrounding properties to floods, landslides or natural disasters.  Future development will be required to mitigate storm water flows.  Earthquakes are common in Northern Nevada and future development will be required to be designed to meet building and site design requirements that are in place at the time development occurs.

g.      To conform to the adopted population plan, if required by NRS 278.170 (Coordination of master plan; Adoption of all or parts).

The requested zoning map amendment conforms to the adopted Master Plan land use and will encourage additional employment opportunities within the Stead area.

h.      To develop a timely, orderly and efficient arrangement of transportation and public facilities and services, including public access and sidewalks for pedestrians, and facilities and services for bicycles.

Access, Traffic and Circulation:  It is anticipated that future development of the site will take access from North Virginia Street.  A traffic analysis was not submitted with the zoning map amendment application.  Generally, uses that are allowed within the MU/NVTC zoning district are more intense than uses allowed within the I zone (Exhibit B)RMC requires a Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA) for projects generating 200 or more peak hour trips (PHT) and a Traffic Entry and Access study for any developments that increase traffic by 100 PHT.  An analysis of the impacts of development to current roadway infrastructure will be evaluated with requests for future development of the site.  It should be noted that the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) approved an amendment to the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) for improvements to North Virginia Street on August 17, 2018.  The amendment identifies that North Virginia Street from Stead Boulevard to Panther Drive will be widened in the 2022 to 2026 timeframe.  All new development is required to comply with the Regional Road Impact Fee (RRIF) program for impacts to the regional roadway network.

 

Transit opportunities are currently available along North Virginia Street with numerous bus stops directly adjacent to the site, which makes the subject site an ideal location for employment centers. 

 

At the time that new development is proposed, the request would need to demonstrate compliance with all aspects of the RMC, which would ensure that adequate access, sidewalks, and services for bicycles are provided.

 

Public Improvements:  The subject site is primarily undeveloped with exception of a vacant ±7,200 square foot warehouse building, numerous deteriorated outbuildings, and concrete pads.  Future development will be required to comply with the Public Works Design Manual (PWDM), including provisions for post construction storm water quality management.  With a future project the developer would be required to follow PWDM standards for providing a final sewer report and any required analysis.

 

Any future project would need to provide a hydrology report which would include a drainage analysis prior to the issuance of any building permit or with any other development proposal.  Any future development of the site will require the hydrology report to address the drainage according to the Truckee Meadows Regional Drainage Manual (TMRDM), PWDM, and any other design standards in place at the time of development.  The final hydrology report will analyze the site and provide mitigation for any drainage impacts that may occur as a result of the development proposal.

 

Based on the application materials, the project will sewer to the Truckee Meadows Water Reclamation Facility (TMWRF) rather than the Reno-Stead Water Reclamation Facility (RSWRF). Any future development of the site will require a final sewer report, as well as a sanitary sewer will-serve letter to be issued by the City.

 

Public Safety:  The Reno Police Department reviewed the request and did not identify concerns related to the requested zoning map amendment. Comments stated that future development requests will be reviewed for consistency with Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles (Exhibit C).

 

The Reno Fire Department (RFD) comments noted that the closest fire station to the site is Station 10, located at 5250 North Virginia Street, with an estimated response time of five minutes. Station 2, located at 2500 Sutro Street, is the next nearest fire station and has an estimated response time of nine minutes.  The 2011 Regional Standards of Cover set forth a first due response objective of six minutes at least 85 percent of the time for urban areas and the estimated response time meets this first due objective.

 

All future development will be required to comply with the adopted edition of the International Fire Code as amended and adopted by the City of Reno at the time development is proposed.  Such compliance includes, but is not be limited to, fire department access, fire sprinkler systems, fire alarm systems and fire hydrant placement.

i.        To ensure that the development on land is commensurate with the character of the physical limitations of the land.

The topography of the site generally slopes downward from east to west with the majority of the site being relatively flat. Areas of steeper slopes that may exceed 30 percent or greater are however scattered throughout the site and future development may require SUP approval for grading cuts and fills. Specific site considerations related to topography, drainageways and other potential physical characteristics of the land will be evaluated at the time that specific development is proposed for the site.

j.        To take into account the immediate and long-range financial impact of the application of particular land to particular kinds of development, and the relative suitability of the land for development.

The zoning map amendment will allow for development of commercial and employment uses and will result in a reduction of allowed residential uses that can be developed on the site.  The addition of employment land will generate employment opportunities to support residents within the North Valleys area.  It is anticipated that the zone change will have immediate fiscal impacts through fees associated with new development as well as providing developer paid infrastructure improvements necessary to accommodate the development.  The Employment Demand Forecast and Needs Assessment prepared in 2016 to inform the update of the City’s Master Plan found recent employment growth in manufacturing and transportation/warehousing industries.  The Needs Assessment documented a need for additional industrial land if these employment trends continue.

k.      To promote health and the general welfare.

Approval of the requested zoning map amendment would provide for a range of commercial and industrial uses on the subject site.  These types of uses promote health and general welfare by providing employment opportunities that support general jobs/housing balance within the North Valleys.

l.        To ensure the development of an adequate supply of housing for the community, including the development of affordable housing.

The requested I zone would allow for a variety of commercial and industrial uses and support employment opportunities within the North Valleys.

m.   To ensure the protection of existing neighborhoods and communities, including the protection of rural preservation neighborhoods.

Land uses surrounding the subject site consist of the Stead railroad spur right-of-way and the Peavine Heights residential subdivision to the south, vacant property, single-family, and mobile homes to the west, several large-scale warehouse and distribution facilities and a mini-warehouse facility to the north; and a mini-warehouse facility for outdoor storage of recreational vehicles to the east.  A table is provided below that outlines the surrounding area uses, zoning districts, and Master Plan designations.

 

Zoning surrounding the site includes a mix of MU/NVTC, Single-Family - 6,000 square foot lot (SF6), and Medium Density Suburban (MDS - Washoe County).  As part of the Master Plan update, the site was identified as an Industrial/Logistics Employment area and assigned an Industrial Master Plan land use. With the Title 18 update, it is anticipated that zoning for properties within the NVTC will be assigned zoning designations that conform to the adopted Master Plan.  The applicant has requested this zoning map amendment to bring the subject site into conformance with the Master Plan and accommodate future development utilizing I zoning standards.

 

AREA DESCRIPTION

 

Land Use

Master Plan Designation

Zoning

North

Mega-warehouse, Mini-warehouse

Industrial (I)

MU/NVTC

South

Railroad right-of-way, Single-family residential, Open space

Single-Family Neighborhood (SF), Parks Greenways, and Open Space (PGOS)

SF6

East

Mini-warehouse

Industrial (I)

MU/NVTC

West

Vacant land, Single-family residential, Mobile home

Suburban Residential (Washoe County), Large-Lot Residential (LL)

Medium Density Suburban (Washoe County), MU/NVTC

 

n.      To promote systems which use solar or wind energy.

Incorporation of solar and/or wind systems could be addressed as new construction is proposed.

o.      To foster the coordination and compatibility of land uses with any military installation in the city, county or region, taking into account the location, purpose and stated mission of the military installation.

Military base commanders are notified of all zoning map amendments and no comments were received.

 

Master Plan:  The subject site has an Industrial Master Plan land use designation and is located within an Industrial/Logistics Employment Area per the Structure Plan Framework.  The requested zoning map amendment from MU/NVTC to I conforms with the Industrial land use designation and is consistent with the following applicable Master Plan policies:

·         1.1B: Community Development - Focus economic development efforts on creating and maintaining employment areas;

·         1.2B:  Modern Industrial Hub - Support the continued growth of the City’s logistics and manufacturing industries and leverage the region’s infrastructure and assets to broaden the economic base through attraction of advanced manufacturing employers and modern logistics operations;

 

·         1.2D:  Employment Centers - Plan, invest in, promote, and incentivize the creation and improvement of cohesive employment areas … and clearly identify where specific employment uses are desired;

·         1.2G:  Business Retention and Attraction - Use economic, technical, and administrative incentives (as informed by Policy 1.1A) to encourage…the establishment of new businesses in industries that support City initiatives;

·         2.1A: Growth Tiers - Support the efficient use of existing public facilities and services by prioritizing development, infrastructure improvements, and public investments (Identified Priority 2 - Targeted employment areas that are located within the existing City limits as of the adoption of this Master Plan).

·         EA-ILA.1:  Overall Mix - Support a mix of large footprint warehouse/flex space, manufacturing facilities, and smaller ancillary and supporting industrial, commercial, and office uses as compatible with the surrounding development context; and

·         EA-ILA.6:  Truck Traffic - Limit heavy trucks on certain city streets, with a particular emphasis on corridors that serve both industrial/logistics area and adjacent neighborhoods.

 

With the adoption of the ReImagine Reno Master Plan, the site has been identified as an ideal location for future industrial development.  The site is located in close proximity to US 395 via Lemmon Drive and Golden Valley Drive offering convenient access for future truck traffic to access the site with minimal impacts to local roads.

 

Agency Comments (Exhibit C): Comment from the Reno Police Department (RPD) and the Washoe County Health District - Air Quality Management Division (WCHD-AQMD) are discussed throughout this report. No other comments were received from reviewing agencies at the time this report was prepared. Any future comments received will be forwarded to the Planning Commission upon receipt.

 

Neighborhood Advisory Board (NAB): This project was reviewed by the Ward 4 NAB on August 15, 2019.  No written comments were received by staff at the time this report was completed.  Any future comments will be forwarded to the Planning Commission upon receipt.

 

Legal Requirements:

 

NRS 278.250(2)                            Zoning Districts and Regulations

 

Findings: As set forth in Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) 278.250(2) (Zoning Districts and Regulations), the Planning Commission and City Council shall find that the zoning map amendment is in accordance with the Master Plan and be designed to meet the following requirements as applicable:

 

a.              To preserve the quality of air and water resources.

 

b.      To promote the conservation of open space and the protection of other natural and scenic resources from unreasonable impairment.

 

c.       To consider existing views and access to solar resources by studying the height of new buildings which will cast shadows on surrounding residential and commercial developments.

 

d.      To reduce the consumption of energy by encouraging the use of products and materials which maximize energy efficiency in the construction of buildings.

 

e.       To provide for recreational needs.

 

f.        To protect life and property in areas subject to floods, landslides and other natural disasters.

 

g.      To conform to the adopted population plan, if required by NRS 278.170.

 

h.      To develop a timely, orderly and efficient arrangement of transportation and public facilities and services, including public access and sidewalks for pedestrians, and facilities and services for bicycles.

 

i.        To ensure that the development on land is commensurate with the character of the physical limitations of the land.

 

j.        To take into account the immediate and long-range financial impact of the application of particular land to particular kinds of development, and the relative suitability of the land for development.

 

k.      To promote health and the general welfare.

 

l.        To ensure the development of an adequate supply of housing for the community, including the development of affordable housing.

 

m.    To ensure the protection of existing neighborhoods and communities, including the protection of rural preservation neighborhoods.

 

n.      To promote systems which use solar or wind energy.

 

o.      To foster the coordination and compatibility of land uses with any military installation in the city, county or region, taking into account the location, purpose and stated mission of the military installation.

 

Meeting History

Sep 4, 2019 5:00 PM Video Reno City Planning Commission Regular

Derek Wilson, Rubicon Design Group, gave an overview of the project. It will not sewer to North Valleys and must return to the Planning Commission for a special use permit.

Kyle Chisholm, Assistant Planner, presented the staff report. Staff was able to make all of the applicable findings. The Ward 4 NAB did not have any comments on this item.

The commissioners present disclosed that they visited the site.

Public Comment:

Tammy Holt-Still discussed the need for development other than warehousing in this area. While this will not sewer to North Valleys, there is still a need to address storm water runoff.

Mr. Chisholm explained for Commissioner Gower there is no project proposed with this request. Any project will likely have to go through the special use permit process. In the event that a project does not go through the special use permit process, it would have to meet code requirements regarding storm water runoff.

Mr. Chisholm explained for Chair Johnson that the MU standards require more landscaping and pedestrian amenities. Projects across the street were built to MU standards and it is my guess that the owner of this property did not want to develop to those standards.

Chair Johnson asked if a special use permit would be required for a warehouse facility on this property.

Mr. Chisholm stated that current zoning allows for warehouse use.

Angela Fuss, Planning Manager, reminded the commission that this is just a zone change and we are not talking about a specific project.

Chair Johnson stated he appreciates that but the presentation itself opened it up to that and he is following a line of conversation as to what the rationale is behind changing for the particular use mentioned.

Mr. Wilson explained that the goal is not necessarily to avoid standards. The site has enough room to add landscaping if required. We were concerned about building locational requirements. The MU code encourages and sometimes almost forces a building to be up toward the street making it difficult to have truck access on all sides. We feel this site would benefit from having a more flexible layout option.

It was moved by Commissioner Gower, seconded by Commissioner Taylor, in the case of LDC20-00001 (Reno Logistics Center Zoning Map Amendment), based upon compliance with the applicable findings, to recommend that City Council approve the zoning map amendment by ordinance. The motion carried unanimously with six (6) commissioners present.

RESULT:APPROVED [UNANIMOUS]
MOVER:Peter Gower, Commissioner
SECONDER:Kathleen Taylor, Commissioner
AYES:Mark Johnson, Britton Griffith, Ed Hawkins, Peter Gower, Paul Olivas, Kathleen Taylor
ABSENT:John Marshall