Sparks City Council Meeting 10/13/2014 2:00:00 PM

    Monday, October 13, 2014 2:00 PM
    Council Chambers, Legislative Bldg., 745 4th St., Sparks

General Business: 9.5

Title: FIRST READING. PCN14035, Bill No. 2686, an ordinance to change the zoning on 6 parcels totaling approximately 6.66 acres from TOD-Mixed Use Commercial to 0.32 acres of R1-6 (Single Family Residential), 3.41 acres of PF (Public Facility) and 2.93 acres of C2 (General Commercial) generally located north of Prater Way and west and south of E. I Street, Sparks, NV, and other matters properly relating thereto.

Petitioner/Presenter: City of Sparks/Tim Thompson
Recommendation: To read bill by title and schedule 2nd reading and public hearing for the regularly scheduled meeting on October 27, 2014
Financial Impact: N/A
Business Impact (Per NRS 237):
A Business Impact Statement is not required because this is not a rule.
Agenda Item Brief:

A request to rezone 6 parcels totaling approximately 6.66 acres from TOD-Mixed Use Commercial to 0.32 acres of R1-6 (Single Family Residential), 3.41 acres of PF (Public Facility) and 2.93 acres of C2 (General Commercial).  The second reading and public hearing are scheduled for October 27, 2014.


The Truckee Meadows Regional Plan requires that both of the cities (Sparks and Reno) plan for transit oriented development.   Sparks created a TOD corridor due to the regional plan requirement but more so to provide new zoning, development standards and policy guidance to promote infill and redevelopment within Sparks' urban core.  The plan promotes future development within the corridor that is compatible with and complementary to existing neighborhoods and supports enhanced pedestrian networks and utilization of the transit system.  The plan has five guiding principles to promote the TOD:

  1. Promote Downtown Sparks as the civic/cultural heart of the community;
  2. Provide for vibrant mixed use activity centers;
  3. Provide for a high quality, context sensitive pattern of development;
  4. Provide for an integrated multi-modal transportation system; and
  5. Provide for a strong downtown and core area neighborhoods.

The Truckee Meadows Regional Plan requires TOD corridors to be developed at average densities of 30 units per acre and a minimum of 18 dwelling units per acre.  Downtown Centers shall be developed at an average of 45 dwelling units per acre and a minimum of 30 dwelling units per acre. Sparks' initial TOD Plan did not require these minimum densities. A policy had been included in the Regional Plan to allow for this; Policy 1.2.14 in theRegional Plan allows for lower residential densities and nonresidential FAR's if:

  1. Required densities are deemed incompatible;
  2. Analysis determines that the minimums are sufficient to support the desired level of public transit;
  3. Natural resource constraints limit the desired density or intensity of use; or
  4. Facilities or infrastructure are not currently available to support the desired density of development.

While Sparks allowed for densities lower than required in the Regional Plan, the minimum densities in Sparks' codes may still be too high given market conditions in the Truckee Meadows.

In 2009, the Planning Commission, in conjunction with City Council action, re-master planned and rezoned approximately 2,300 acres of the city of Sparks to TOO (Transit Oriented Development).

The 2009 proposal was developed through stakeholder meetings, site visits, and an inventory analysis over seven years.  Prior to the 2009 TOO plan being adopted, interim TOO standards were adopted in 2007 by the Planning Commission and City Council.  This TOO plan has now been in place for five years and only a handful of projects have been proposed within the corridor, though this is probably primarily attributable  to the recession.  Staff had identified in the 2009 plan that the TOO corridor was largely built out, and future development activity would occur in the form of infill and redevelopment.  The goal was to adopt design standards that would ensure new development is compatible and integrated the existing structures/neighborhoods in terms of scale and use.

Some of the projects proposed to date have not been "typical" TOO projects and have required deviations from the TOO intent, most notably, the NOW Foods project, which required a variance.  The Planning Commission voted to approve the variance for the project.

The Planning Commission recommended approval on September 4, 2014.


The properties affected by this proposal are primarily built out.  The lone "vacant” parcel is owned by the Truckee Meadows Water Authority, includes a well site, and is envisioned to serve as a water treatment site.  Most development in this area will likely be adaptive reuse of existing buildings.

This proposal Includes: a Master Plan Amendment, to change the boundary of the Transit Oriented Development Corridor as well as changing the land use designation of approximately 6.66 acres from Transit Oriented Development-Mixed Use Commercial designation to approximately 0.32 acres of Low Density Residential, 3.41acres of Public Facility and 2.93 acres of General Commercial; and rezoning the parcels from TOO/Mixed Use­ Commercial to 0.32 acres of Rl-6 (Single Family Residential), 3.41acres of PF (Public Facility) and 2.93 acres of C2 (General Commercial).

Staff has analyzed each parcel and is proposing a land use and zoning designation most appropriate for the current use of the property and potential future use of the property.

The maps in the TOO Design Manuals will also be amended to show the updated boundary and removal of these parcels from the TOO Corridor.

The associated master plan amendment and subsequent rezoning, furthers the goals, policies, and objectives and the Regional Plan and the Sparks Master Plan as discussed below in the Findings. The requested changes would also be consistent with the existing surrounding land uses.  


The request, as submitted, is consistent with the City of Sparks Master Plan.


As mentioned previously, staff is proposing a land use and zoning designation most appropriate for the current use of the property and potential future use of the property.   Staff would also note the proposed land use designations are the same land uses that were in effect prior to the adoption of the TOD Area Plan. The proposed zoning classifications conform to the proposed land uses. The four commercial properties along E. Prater Way were previously zoned C2 and the parcel owned by Truckee Meadows Water Authority  was previously zoned PF.  Based on the following locational criteria, the proposed land use designations and zoning classifications are appropriate.

The following is an excerpt from the Sparks Master Plan. The emphasis is added to highlight appropriate sections.


1. General Commercial CGC)

Per the Master Plan document,General Commercial focuses on shopping, personal and professional service facilities and accessory uses in centers to meet the needs of the community.

The Master Plan document goes on to state that GC areas are located adjacent to major arterial street intersections in the City and the City's Sphere of Influence Area boundary.  GC areas are suitable near other community  facilities such as convention centers, recreational facilities, theaters, and parks.  Offices or mixed residential uses usually surround General Commercial shopping land use designated areas.

2. Public Facility (PF)

According to the Master Plan Document, the Public Facility land use is devoted to parks, public schools, hospitals, public buildings, golf courses, bike paths, trails and accessory uses.  Private recreation clubs and facilities, private schools and churches may be permitted  by discretionary action in these designated land use areas.  Symbols representing R for recreation, P for park, F for fire station, for example, may be placed upon this land use designation for further  delineation of type of public facility.

The Master Plan Document goes on to states that parks, recreational facilities, public facilities  and public schools of various kinds are planned throughout the City and the City's Sphere of Influence Area boundary to serve the divergent  needs of the City's residents.  Some sites are designed for major facilities of regional or of city-wide needs (such as large athletic fields, recreational parks and golf courses and biking and hiking trails). Other sites are smaller, intended to serve surrounding neighborhood needs such as areas for picnicking, playgrounds and pocket parks.

Vehicular access to large facilities may be from collectors or arterials, depending upon the size of the facility.   Non-vehicular travel should be accommodated and encouraged.  Some of the facilities would be centrally located within residential neighborhoods.  Linkages and networks between facilities should be designated.

These public facilities are spotted throughout the City.  Certain recreational uses should take advantage of locations that are not suitable for urban development  because of physical constraints.   Problems with slope and topography can be an asset for biking trails.   Ball fields may be suitable in flood-prone areas.  Golf courses may be constructed in conjunction with wetlands preservation.

Public facility sites are generally compatible with most other urban land uses, especially residential.  The combining of park sites with school facilities is common, and is cost-effective, in providing for the needs of the residents of the City.

3. Low Density Residential (LDR)

Per the Master Plan document, Low Density Residential consists of land utilized for predominantly  low density single-family homes and accessory uses to single-family  residences.  Parks, open spaces, schools, churches, public facilities and utilities may be permitted in these designated land use

areas by discretionary entitlement.  Planned Development zoning may be applied  to any area designated  LOR for entitlement and construction. TOO overlay  zoning may be applied to any area designated LOR; in which case densities  might  be higher.

The Master Plan goes on to state that LOR areas are located near  urban activity centers where urban services, utilities, transportation and public  facilities are  available. This land use designation  is generally found North  of Prater Way and between the east and west city boundaries and within the City's Sphere of Influence Area boundary.

Single family  residential areas usually  function  as a low intensity urban land use.  To allow freedom  of design and to preserve  open space and environmentally sensitive areas, the LDR may utilize the Planned Development process for entitlement and construction.  Due to traffic  safety considerations in these neighborhoods, LDR should obtain access from local and collector  streets  only.   Although hazard zones, airport noise zones and property in floodways  should be avoided, LDR neighborhoods can be built on moderate slopes.

Low density  residential areas are the most sensitive to incompatible uses and impacts  from adjacent activities. They are usually buffered  from commercial activities by mixed  residential, professional office uses, parks, offices, or by sound and visual barriers.

The land use goals, policies and action strategies in the 1991Master Plan update  (and subsequent  2002-2003 amendments) relevant  to this project include the following:


GOAL LU1:        To create a growth pattern which  assures  flexible, feasible and efficient developments and which includes natural and cultural amenities.




LU1a.    The City will support a preferred growth  pattern  which applies consistent  and uniform  standards to areas planned for similar uses.


LU1b.    The City will ensure that  development is in accord with the Master Plan and other land use controls  to accomplish  growth management goals.


LUlc.    The City will approve development plans which address conditions unique to the developing area to minimize impacts to adjacent properties and assure protection of natural and cultural resources.


1.    Apply appropriate sections of the City's Municipal Code to all development proposals.

2.   Allow only developments which meet the proper land use designation of the City's Master Plan and the Regional Master Plan.

3.     Review all projects in relation to their geographic location, impacts to adjacent communities, fiscal impact and mitigation measures to protect natural and cultural resources.  Apply specific conditions of approval tailored for each development proposal.

GOAL LU3:     To provide for intergovernmental coordination regarding regional policies for land use intensity of development and promote environmental quality protection.


LU3a.    The City will continue to work with other local and regional governments by sharing information  and identifying  regional issues 

GOAL LUS:  To support land uses and development that assures an appropriate balance of population, housing, and employment distribution within the City.


LUSa.    The City will encourage land uses and development which maintains a balance of population, housing and employment within urban and emerging growth areas.

LUSb.    The City will support sustainable economic development resulting in efficient use of resources.

LUSc.     The City will provide adequate land for future non-residential development.

LUSe.    The City will ensure development of employment centers that preserve and enhance the character of neighborhoods, the natural environment, and visual integrity  of surrounding viewsheds.

LUSf.     The City will ensure development of employment centers in close proximity  to established or developing residential areas, along major arterials or freeways, on public transit routes, or implementation of other vehicle trip reduction strategies.

LUSg.    The City will encourage employment center development on infill sites.

LUSh.    The City will ensure pedestrian connections throughout emerging employment center developments and to nearby residential areas.

The goals and policies listed above support the proposed land use changes.


The project is consistent with the surrounding existing land uses.


•    North:        Single Family Residential,LDR, Rl-6

•    East:          Commercial, Mixed Use-Commercial,TOD

•    South:        Church & Child Care Facility,Office Professional (OP),PO

•    West:         Single Family Residential,LDR, R-l6

The proposal to re master plan the respective area will provide refined consistency for surrounding land uses because the amendment takes into consideration the uses which are utilizing the land currently and considers the appropriate designation for future infill and redevelopment of this land based on those existing land uses. The proposal will promote the vitality of the existing neighborhood by providing complementary land use designations.


Public notice was given  and a public hearing held per the requirements of the Sparks  Municipal Code.

Public notice was given per the requirements of the Sparks Municipal Code and the Nevada Revised Statutes.  The Planning Commission and the City Council meetings function as the public hearings for this item.



Recommended Motion:


Attached Files:
     PCN14035 - CC Rezone Ordinance.pdf
     PCN14035 - Rezone Maps.pdf
     PCN14035 - RZ legal description & boundary map.pdf
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