Sparks City Council Meeting 2/10/2014 2:00:00 PM

    Monday, February 10, 2014 2:00 PM
    City Council Chambers, Legislative Bldg, 745 Fourth St., Sparks

General Business: 6.5

Title: First Reading and possible discussion of CA-1-14 Bill No. 2666 an ordinance amending Title 20 of the Sparks Municipal Code providing standards for the erection of any new school or the alteration of an existing school and other matters properly relating thereto pursuant to Nevada Assembly Bill 87 (2013).
Petitioner/Presenter: City of Sparks/Jim Rundle, Senior Planner
Recommendation: That the City Council instruct the City Clerk to read the First Reading of the Bill by title on February 10, 2014 and thereafter publish notice of a second reading and public hearing of this Bill for its possible adoption and possible approval on February 24, 2014.
Financial Impact: None
Business Impact (Per NRS 237):
A Business Impact Statement is not required because this is not a rule.
Agenda Item Brief:

Assembly Bill 87, was passed in 2013 by the state legislature and signed into law by Governor Sandoval requiring the City of Sparks, City of Reno, and Washoe County to provide consistent development standards for the construction of new schools in Washoe County. The Planning Commission forwarded a recommendation of approval to the City Council to adopt this code amendment.


Assembly Bill 87, an act relating to public schools, requires consistency among local governments in zoning ordinances with respect to certain development standards and specifications that apply when constructing or altering public schools in Washoe County. The legislation requires that such standards and specifications be developed in conjunction with the Washoe County School District. The Nevada Assembly and Senate approved AB87 in the 2013 session; it was then signed into law by Governor Sandoval.

This bill went into effect on July 1, 2013 and requires local government ordinances to include these standards by February 28, 2014. This law is limited to development ordinances in Washoe County. Sparks, Reno, Washoe County, Washoe County School District and Truckee Meadows Regional Planning representatives have developed and agreed to development standards for schools which will be discussed in the “Analysis” section of this staff report. This code amendment was heard by the Planning Commission which unanimously forwarded a recommendation of approval to the Sparks City Council.


AB87 of the 2013 Legislative Session requires that:

1. In a county whose population is 100,000 or more but less than 700,000 (currently Washoe County), the standards and specifications for the erection of any new school building or for any addition to or alteration of an existing school building in any ordinance relating to zoning adopted or amended by the governing body of the county and the governing body of any city in the county which address the: a. height of the building, b. setback of the building, c. landscaping, d. amount of parking space must be: (1) consistent in all such ordinances; and (2) developed in conjunction with the school district of that county.

2. Such ordinances to be adopted on or before February 28, 2014. The Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Agency (TMRPA), the Washoe County School District (WCSD), and the local governments of Reno, Sparks and Washoe County met several times between July and November 2013, to collaboratively develop consistent standards meeting the requirements outlined in AB87. The following standards are the product of this collaboration: Building Element Requirement Building Height None Building Setbacks 1 foot distance for every foot in height when adjacent to residential uses Landscaping Up to 20% of site Parking High School - One space for each 1.5 students, faculty and staff based on design capacity Junior/Middle School - Two spaces per classroom plus one space per 100 students based on design capacity Elementary School - One space per classroom and one space per 100 students based on design capacity Notes: Building Height - Having no minimum or maximum height requirements provides for the flexibility to build unique facilities consistent with the character of the neighboring community. In the future schools in the urban core may have a smaller footprint and be 2 or more stories in height. Depending on the type of school and the amenities it offers, the height will need to vary. Building Setbacks - The 1’ requirement does not pertain to those elevations adjacent to uses other than residential. Each elevation will determine the amount of setback, for instance a 25’ front facing elevation will require a 25’ setback in the front, a 30’ side elevation will require a 30’ setback on that side, and that same building that has a rear facing elevation adjacent to a use other than residential will have no setback requirement. Landscaping - landscaping details will be determined based on type of school, community character, and site specifics such as slope and soil quality. These details will be determined during a pre-site plan review meeting with the local government and WCSD. Parking - This is a minimum standard and also presumes all relevant Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and American National Standards Institute (ANSI) requirements will be met. Review - Administrative approval (standard code and site plan, if applicable) review, no Special Use Permit (SUP) or other discretionary approval required. Sparks staff are proposing to include these mandated requirements in the Design Standards Manual. The Design Standards Manual is approved by reference in Title 20 section 20.04.120. There are currently five chapters in the Design Standards Manual, and the proposal is to incorporate the school standards as a sixth chapter. The proposed sixth chapter has been attached and includes two pages. To reference the Design Standards Manual in its entirety visit or

Alternatives: First Reading

Recommended Motion: Not Applicable, First Reading Only

Attached Files:
     cc first reading Staff Report.pdf
     Exhibit A ordinance.pdf
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