Sparks City Council Meeting - Amended 10/27/2014 2:00:00 PMMonday, October 27, 2014 2:00 PM
Council Chambers, Legislative Bldg., 745 4th St., Sparks
Planning and Zoning Public Hearings and Action Items: 11.2
PCN14035 – A Master Plan Amendment and rezoning by the City of Sparks for property within the Transit Oriented Development Corridor boundary. These lands are generally located north of Prater Way and west and south of E. I Street. The requests are for:
• Consideration of and possible action on a Master Plan Amendment to change the boundary of the Transit Oriented Development Corridor including 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, 3.41 acres of Public Facility and 2.93 acres of General Commercial. (For Possible Action)
• SECOND READING, Bill No. 2686, consideration of and possible action on 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). (For Possible Action)
A Business Impact Statement is not required because this is not a rule.
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, 3.41 acres of Public Facility and 2.93 acres of General Commercial. Also requested is to rezone the parcels 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 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:
- Promote Downtown Sparks as the civic/cultural heart of the community;
- Provide for vibrant mixed use activity centers;
- Provide for a high quality, context sensitive pattern of development;
- Provide for an integrated multi-modal transportation system; and
- 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:
- Required densities are deemed incompatible;
- Analysis determines that the minimums are sufficient to support the desired level of public transit;
- Natural resource constraints limit the desired density or intensity of use; or
- 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 TOD (Transit Oriented Development).
The 2009 proposal was developed through stakeholder meetings, site visits, and an inventory analysis over seven years. Prior to the 2009 TOD plan being adopted, interim TOD standards were adopted in 2007 by the Planning Commission and City Council. This TOD 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 TOD 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" TOD projects and have required deviations from the TOD 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 Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Commission found the Master Plan Amendment to be in conformance with the Truckee Meadows Regional Plan.
This proposal is to effectively rescind application of the TOD in the general area bounded by Prater way, I Street, and Vista Boulevard, Sparks Boulevard, Prater Way, and Probasco Way. With the higher development intensities required to support TOD, this area may not be suitable. When the TOD’s were established in 2002, the Reno/Sparks corridor was drawn from Northern Nevada Medical Center to Verdi. Since that time, the TOD concept has evolved and the consensus is TOD should be more “concentrated” in certain appropriate areas as opposed to long corridors. This proposal could be considered a step in that vein.
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, 3.41 acres of Public Facility and 2.93 acres of General Commercial; and rezoning the parcels 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).
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 TOD Design Manuals will also be amended to show the updated boundary and removal of these parcels from the TOD 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. For these reasons, staff recommends that the Planning Commission approve the Master Plan Amendment and forward a request for certification to the City Council as well as forward a recommendation for approval to the City Council of the requested zone changes.
MASTER PLAN AMENDMENT:
The proposed Master Plan amendment would be in conformance with the Regional Plan.
The Regional plan is intended to guide how and where development occurs. These amendments to the Sparks Master Plan TOD area plan will provide policy direction for how future development occurs within this area of Sparks. This master plan amendment addresses direction from the Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Governing Board, and Sparks City Council; to:
- Promote sustainable growth and efficient growth patterns through a defined area within which municipal services and infrastructure will be provided.
- Provide a land use pattern which will promote a more diverse and economic base.
- Ensure that necessary public services and facilities to support new development are or will be available and adequate, based on adopted levels of service standards, at the time the impact of new development occurs.
- Lessen sprawl and support a higher intensity and density of development within designated centers and transit corridors suitable for infill development.
- Recognize the need for regional corridors that emphasize automobile and freight mobility.
- Create a more compact, mixed pattern of residential units and employment locations, served by a region-wide multi-modal transportation system, to reduce levels of travel demand, facilitate efficient service provision, and promote a jobs-housing balance;
- Place residential, commercial, civic and other uses in proximity to each other to reduce the dependency upon the private automobile, reduce vehicle miles traveled, and conserve energy.
- Support the revitalization of, and maintain the character of, established neighborhoods and communities while encouraging infill development that is appropriate for its surroundings.
- Embrace the importance of place making as the creation of spaces that are lively, inviting, enduring, and distinct in character. Important factors include access, comfort, image, activities, and social interactions. Place making fosters a strong sense of community.
More specifically, this master plan proposal promotes specific planning principles listed in the Regional Plan which promote Regional Form and Pattern including:
- Promoting a regional form that lessens sprawl and supports a higher intensity and density of development within centers and transit corridors. This plan strongly promotes infill development within the designated downtown center and transit corridor. This plan encourages development that promotes:
- optimization of existing infrastructure
- human scale design
- a range of housing types
- sense of place through a distinct and attractive community
- a community that is complementary to the existing community
- a range of transportation choices
- Provides a land use plan that directs intensification toward the appropriate areas
This master plan will promote Goal 1.1 of the Regional Plan “Between 2007 and 2030, at least 99% of the region’s population growth and 99% of the region’s jobs growth will be located in the Truckee Meadows Service Area (TMSA).
This proposal will promote Policy 1.2.6 of the Regional Plan “The master plans of local governments must include policies that take maximum advantage of existing resources such as: special transportation assets (air, rail, streets and highways, public transit).
This proposal further defines Policy 1.2.10 of the Regional Plan by further refining the Sparks TOD corridor.
This proposal promotes Policy 1.2.11 of the Regional Plan as it:
- Refines the boundaries of the TOD Corridor.
- Allows for efficient delivery of infrastructure and services through optimization of existing public investment and proximity of services to demand.
This proposal will promote Policy 1.2.13 of the Regional Plan as it:
Conforms to the Regional Plan by including implementation tools to:
- Promote infill development, preserve neighborhoods, and revitalize urban areas.
The proposed changes to the master plan help to better define the Sparks TOD corridor by removing an area that is currently developed, is outside an identified activity center, continues to provide services to adjacent residential, and helps to preserve the character of the neighborhood.
The Master Plan amendment would implement the goals listed within the Sparks Master Plan as listed in the staff report.
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.
RELATIONSHIP TO THE MASTER PLAN
1. General Commercial (GC)
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 LDR for entitlement and construction. TOD overlay zoning may be applied to any area designated LDR; in which case densities might be higher.
The Master Plan goes on to state that LDR 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 1991 Master 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.
LU1c. 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 LU5: To support land uses and development that assures an appropriate balance of population, housing, and employment distribution within the City.
LU5a. The City will encourage land uses and development which maintains a balance of population, housing and employment within urban and emerging growth areas.
LU5b. The City will support sustainable economic development resulting in efficient use of resources.
LU5c. The City will provide adequate land for future non-residential development.
LU5e. 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.
LU5f. 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.
LU5g. The City will encourage employment center development on infill sites.
LU5h. 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 Master Plan Amendment would be compatible with surrounding land uses.
SURROUNDING LAND USES AND ZONING
- North: Single Family Residential, LDR, R1-6
- East: Commercial, Mixed Use-Commercial, TOD
- South: Church & Child Care Facility, Office Professional (OP), PO
- West: Single Family Residential, LDR, R1-6
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 Nevada Revised Statutes and Sparks Municipal Code.
Public notice was given per the requirements of the Sparks Municipal Code and the Nevada Revised Statutes. The Planning Commission and City Council meetings function as the public hearing for this item.
A neighborhood meeting was conducted on August 28, 2014 in the Sparks City Council Chambers. The owners of the six parcels and all property owners within 750 feet of the affected parcels were mailed notices.
The request, as submitted, is consistent with the City of Sparks Master Plan.
RELATIONSHIP TO MASTER PLAN
SEE FINDING MP2 ABOVE
The project is consistent with the surrounding existing land uses.
SEE FINDING MP3 ABOVE
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.
Master Plan Amendments:
1. The City Council may choose to not certify the Planning Commission’s approval of the amendments and remand the item back to the Planning Commission with further direction.
1. The City Council may choose to approve the rezoning; or
2. The City Council may choose to deny the rezoning.
Master Plan Amendment
I move to certify the Master Plan Amendment Resolution No. 3268 associated with PCN14035, adopting Findings MP1 through MP4 and the facts supporting these Findings as set forth in the staff report.
I move to approve Bill No. 2686, an ordinance changing 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), associated with PCN14035, adopting Findings Z1 through Z3 and the facts supporting these Findings as set forth in the staff report.
PCN14035 - PC Packet.pdf
PCN14035 - Maps.pdf
MP Resolution PCN14035 CC.pdf
PCN14035 - CC Rezone Ordinance.pdf
PCN14035 - RZ legal description & boundary map.pdf