Sparks City Council Meeting 6/11/2018 2:00:00 PM

    Monday, June 11, 2018 2:00 PM
    Council Chambers, Legislative Bldg, 745 4th St., Sparks, NV

General Business: 9.10

Title: FIRST READING of Bill No. 2737, an Ordinance amending Chapter 12.24 of the Sparks Municipal Code to prohibit smoking and vaping in city parks, and providing other matters properly related thereto.
Petitioner/Presenter: Tracy Domingues, Parks and Recreation Director/Tracy L. Domingues, Parks and Recreation Director
Recommendation: This is a First Reading. No recommendation required.
Financial Impact: None
Business Impact (Per NRS 237):
A Business Impact Statement is not required because this is not a rule.
Agenda Item Brief:

The recommended amendments to Chapter 12.24 of the Sparks Municipal Code will provide additional principal park rules to include no smoking or vaping in city parks. Adopting these rules by Ordinance will ease enforcement of the rules and provide clarity to the public regarding what activities are permitted in City parks.


The Sparks Municipal Code Section 12.24.090 reads: "The director of the department of parks and recreation shall, after consultation with the parks and recreation commission and following approval by the city manager, adopt, amend or repeal such rules, consistent with the policies, objects and purposes of the city council, as he or she may deem necessary or desirable in the public interest in regulating the safe, enjoyable and equitable use of city parks. Rules pertaining to specific activity areas shall be displayed in a prominent and public location in or near such area or shall be communicated orally or in writing to program participants as circumstances require. Principal rules pertaining to an entire park shall be publicly and prominently displayed at the entrance to the city park."

Historically, principal park rules have been difficult to enforce due to not being enacted by ordinance, lack of signage, and/or availability of staff resources. However, signage referring to the Sparks Municipal Code is extremely helpful when Sparks Police Officers are dispatched to assist with non-compliant park users or when the general public wishes to assist with rule enforcement. Upon the City Council’s approval of the recommended amendments, staff will create new signage to be prominently displayed at park entrances. The eventual goal is to place signage at every park. Parks with the highest volume of park users, such as Golden Eagle Regional Park, Pah Rah Park, Shadow Mountain Park, Sparks Marina Park, and Deer Park, will be prioritized.

In January 2017, the Sparks Parks and Recreation Commission attended a concurrent meeting with the respective Commissions for Washoe County and City of Reno. During this meeting, the Washoe County Health District presented the concept of creating smoke-free parks in the Truckee Meadows. As a result, each Commission gave direction to move forward with exploring the possibility of creating smoke-free parks. A working group with a member from each jurisdiction was formed.  This working group met for approximately 8 months in 2017.

The Sparks Parks and Recreation Commission discussed this item at their meeting on January 24, 2018, and voted to recommend to City Council to create an Ordinance that would prohibit smoking and vaping within all City of Sparks' parks. Below are the three items approved by the Parks and Recreation Commission:

1) Sparks' parks to be smoke and vape free;

2) Smoke and vape free to be enforced in the entire park including parking lots; and

3) Smoke and vape free to be enforced by Ordinance.

On April 9, 2018, the City Council gave direction to the City Manager to initiate amendments to Title 12 of the Sparks Municipal Code regarding principal park rules in Sparks to prohibit smoking and vaping in Sparks' parks.  Washoe County approved the same direction on Tuesday, April 10th and the City of Reno on April 11th.


The Sparks Parks and Recreation Commission, the City of Reno Recreation and Parks Commission and the Washoe County Open Space and Regional Parks Commission are committed to the quality of life for all Truckee Meadows residents. The Smoke/Vape Free Working Group or subcommittee, consisting of one representative each from each entity, has determined that the prohibition of smoking and vaping in the region's parks and recreational facilities serve to protect the health, safety, and welfare of our citizens. They believe:

1) Exposure to smoke or aerosol from cigarettes or electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) is unhealthy and detrimental to the health of others;

2) Cigarette waste is commonly discarded on the ground, requiring additional maintenance expenses, and diminishing the beauty of parks and recreation facilities; and

3) As leaders, parents, community members and officials, we are role models for youth and can have a positive effect on the lifestyle choices they make.

The primary enforcement of the smoke-free/vape-free park policy will be through new signage in parks and social pressure to not smoke in the parks. This section will not apply within the Victorian Square special event venue as defined in Section 9.42.010 (E).  Staff does not anticipate law enforcement actively patrolling parks looking for ordinance related violations. Staff will notify residents via current communication channels including social media and press releases; appropriate signage posted at parks, trails and open space.  Staff will also communicate with athletic associations, tournament directors and community groups that utilize park facilities. Staff will apply for grant funds through the Washoe County Health District to assist with signage creation costs.

The proposed amendments will provide a safe environment within the park system for all visitors and users.



This is a First Reading only.



Recommended Motion:

This is a First Reading.  No motion required.

Attached Files:
     Chapter 12.24 Smoke Free Amendment ALM.pdf
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