Sparks City Council Meeting 8/22/2016 2:00:00 PM

    Monday, August 22, 2016 2:00 PM
    Council Chambers, Legislative Building, 745 Fourth Street, Sparks, NV

Public Hearing and Action Items Unrelated to Planning and Zoning: 10.2

Title: SECOND READING AND POSSIBLE ADOPTION of Bill No. 2709 amending Title 5 of the Sparks Municipal Code relating to the City Attorney’s authority to seek injunctive relief for the enforcement of Title 5.
Petitioner/Presenter: Alyson McCormick/Alyson McCormick
Recommendation: That the City Council instruct the City Clerk to public notice of a SECOND READING and conduct a public hearing of the Bill for its adoption and possible approval.
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:

This Ordinance will create another mechanism for enforcing Title 5 of the Sparks Municipal Code regarding Business Licenses, Taxes and Regulations by granting the City Attorney the authority to seek the equitable remedies of preliminary and permanent injunctions for violations of Title 5 without seeking the prior express permission of the City Council.


As amended in 2014, SMC 5.08.045 allows the chief licensing officer to “issue a cease and desist order to any person who is transacting or conducting business in violation of SMC 5.08.050,” which prohibits conducting business in the City of Sparks without a business license.  SMC 5.16.060 states that “[a]ny person violating any of the provisions of this title . . . is guilty of a misdemeanor.”

In the early months of 2016, city residents brought to the attention of the City Attorney individuals and entities conducting business in residential areas and without required business licenses. Upon investigation, some of these individuals and entities had previously been convicted of a misdemeanor offense by a State agency via the Washoe County District Attorney’s Office for unlawful business activities. Despite the criminal conviction, the unlawful conduct was not deterred.


While many business operators willingly comply with the Sparks Municipal Code, others may refuse to do so despite being (1) notified of violations, (2) directed to cease and desist such violations, and/or (3) convicted of misdemeanors arising from their unlawful business activities. Allowing the City Attorney to seek preliminary and/or permanent injunctions to prohibit further business operations in violation of Title 5 of the Sparks Municipal Code will provide an additional enforcement mechanism that, in some cases, may be more effective than existing mechanisms. Once a court issues a preliminary or permanent injunction, refusal to comply may subject the unlawful business operator to penalties for contempt of court in addition to existing civil and criminal penalties. Providing this additional enforcement mechanism will help to protect the City’s interests in collecting revenue from business license fees and protecting those businesses that are conducting business lawfully as well as the public from unregulated, unfair, and unsafe business operators.

This proposed amendment works in concert with a proposed amendment to SMC 2.05.020(I) that will allow the City Attorney to seek preliminary and permanent injunctions without the prior express permission of the City Council. This authority will also allow the City Attorney to expedite the enforcement of Title 5 of the Sparks Municipal Code while promoting the efficiency of the City Council’s operations and governance of the City of Sparks.


The City Council may vote to approve the Ordinance as presented; disapprove the Ordinance as presented; or give staff direction to revise the Ordinance.

Recommended Motion:

I move to adopt Bill No. 2709 amending Title 5 of the SMC allowing the City Attorney to seek injunctive relief from violations of Title 5 of the Sparks Municipal Code.

Attached Files:
     Injunctive Relief (Final).pdf
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