Sparks City Council Meeting 2/13/2017 2:00:00 PM

    Monday, February 13, 2017 2:00 PM
    Council Chambers, Legislative Bldg, 745 4th St., Sparks, NV

General Business: 9.9

Title: Discussion and possible direction by the City Council to intervene in the litigation regarding Washoe County’s bill draft request regarding the Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Agency’s Governing Board introduced as Assembly Bill 39 of the 2017 Legislative session. (For Possible Action)
Petitioner/Presenter: City of Sparks Councilwoman Bybee/Jim Rundle, Planning Manager
Recommendation: Councilwoman Bybee of the Sparks City Council has requested that the Sparks City Council consider the pending litigation between the Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Agency’s Governing Board and the Washoe County Board of County Commissioners and determine whether the City of Sparks should intervene in the litigation.
Financial Impact: NA
Business Impact (Per NRS 237):
A Business Impact Statement is not required because this is not a rule.
Agenda Item Brief:

In 2002 the City of Sparks, City of Reno and Washoe County through the Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Agency all signed a “Settlement Agreement” that among other items identified Spheres of Influence for Washoe County, Reno and Sparks, established required findings for annexations and most germane to this item established a protocol for proposing legislation to change any terms of the Settlement Agreement.  The Settlement Agreement requires that all parties jointly submit the legislation.  Because the Washoe County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) submitted a bill draft request to change the makeup of the Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Governing Board (AB 39) independent of the Regional Planning Governing Board (RPGB), the RPGB has asserted that the BCC violated the terms of the Settlement Agreement. The RPGB has now filed suit against the BCC for said violation.


Councilwoman Bybee, the current chair of the RPGB, has requested the Sparks City Council consider intervening in the lawsuit on the side of the RPGB.  The City of Reno will also be considering a similar item at their February City Council meeting.


On January 23, 2017 Norman Azevedo, legal counsel representing the Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Governing Board, filed a petition against Washoe County for writ of mandamus to compel the BCC to do what they are legally obligated to do. The petition was filed in the Second Judicial District Court.  Simply put, the writ, if approved, would require the Board of County Commissioners to withdraw Assembly Bill 39.

At the January 23, 2017 Sparks City Council meeting, Councilwoman Bybee requested the City Manager bring back an item for the Sparks City Council’s consideration and possible action to intervene in the lawsuit between the RPGB and Washoe County on the side of the RPGB.

A case can be made that by joining the lawsuit the City of Sparks informs the court that the City agrees with the RPGB’s decision and it affords the City of Sparks the protection of the special and particularized interests of the City as opposed to the Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Agency as a whole.

In 2002, a “Settlement Agreement” was reached between the City of Sparks, City of Reno, and Washoe County on how to resolve issues regarding the planning of the region.  These issues included but are not limited to cooperative planning, amendments to the Regional Plan, annexations, and legislation regarding Regional Planning.

The Settlement Agreement (attached) includes a “Legislation” section (Section F) that prohibits parties (such as Washoe County) from proposing legislation that is contrary to or inconsistent with the terms of the Settlement Agreement.  Section F requires that the Cities of Reno and Sparks, the County and the RPGB address all legislative issues collectively.

Mr. Azevedo states in the filing on page 2 that, “NRS 278.0286(2) requires local governments to file relevant information with the RPGB before proposing legislation on regional matters.  The 2001 Legislative Cooperation Memorandum of Understanding sets forth additional meet, confer, disclosure and informational requirements upon the Local Governments and affected entities before proposing regional planning legislation.  Shortly after the 2002 Settlement Agreement was executed, the RPGB adopted Regulations for Procedure, one of which requires the filing of relevant information at least sixty days before submitting a recommendation for regional planning legislation to the Legislative Counsel Bureau (LCB).”

When Washoe County submitted a bill draft request in August of 2016 in to alter the composition of the RPGB to the LCB and then pre filed the bill (AB 39), the County proposed a change to a Regional Planning statute, without consulting with the RPGB, City of Sparks or City of Reno.

The RPGB is currently comprised of ten elected officials.  Of these ten seats, four are allocated to the City of Reno as the municipality with the largest population base, three to Sparks and three to Washoe County.  Two of the three elected officials representing Washoe County must either represent or reside in the unincorporated areas of the County.  AB 39 would eliminate one of Reno’s four seats and the requirement that two of Washoe County’s appointees must represent the unincorporated area.

The BCC asserted it did not violate any statute or the Settlement Agreement at the January 10, 2017 BCC meeting as they again voted to move forward with AB39 regardless of the sentiment of the RPGB.  Because of this vote by the BCC, the RPGB was forced to seek recourse from the Court.  The RPGB has requested the Court compel the BCC to comply with the Settlement Agreement, and NRS 278.0286(2), by recalling AB39.


See Background Section


The City Council may choose not to act on this item.

Recommended Motion:

I move to intervene on the side of the Regional Planning Governing Board in the lawsuit filed against Washoe County for violating the Settlement Agreement and specific Nevada Revised Statutes. 

Attached Files:
     170120.exhibits1-28.verified.petition (1).pdf
     FinalSettlementAgreement ver6 with signatures (002).pdf
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