Council Chambers, Legislative Bldg, 745 4th Street, Sparks, NV
General Business: 9.13
In early 2019, Mayor Ron Smith was contacted by stakeholders of the recreational vehicle (RV) industry with concerns that the City’s Temporary Use Permit (TUP) process overly restricted temporary RV sales events or shows by limiting such uses to 72 hours in duration. On March 11, 2019, the Sparks City Council directed staff to initiate changes to Title 20 of the Sparks Municipal Code (SMC) to permit temporary RV sales events or shows to exceed 72 hours.
With this direction, staff conferred with RV industry stakeholders. Additionally, staff contacted zoning officials from eleven other jurisdictions around the region to better understand RV show regulations in other communities. Each of these agencies regulates RV shows either using temporary use permits or by attaching conditions to a business license.
Currently, the City of Sparks regulates RV shows through the TUP process set forth in SMC 20.03.040, which limits the duration of temporary uses to 72 hours. Operators must then wait at least 96 hours before conducting a subsequent event. City Council has directed staff to develop a set of regulations that better suit the way RV shows are typically conducted, specifically by extending the maximum permitted duration of these events.
Such a change would also align the City’s code for RV shows with the regulations of the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The DMV will currently issue up to six (6) vehicle show permits to an operator per year for a maximum duration of seven (7) days per permit. The proposed ordinance would require compliance with DMV regulations and permit terms.
The Sparks Comprehensive Plan outlines the need to ensure that “Sparks’ physical environment, services and amenities make it a city of choice for residents and businesses” (Goal CC1). The Comprehensive Plan also states that the City should “identify and respond to potential economic development opportunities, including emerging industries, which may arise from environmental and regulatory changes” (Goal EV5). Accordingly, staff believes the proposed amendment addresses the interests of the businesses and stakeholders involved while meeting these stated goals and purposes of the Comprehensive Plan.
Staff is proposing a new temporary use category for vehicle sales as subsection “i” in SMC 20.03.040 (Exhibit 1). This new section would include standards allowing RV show operators and other vehicle sellers to set up, conduct, and take down a sales event.
The proposed changes will permit vehicle sales events to last up to fourteen (14) calendar days. This will afford operators two consecutive weekends (viewed as necessary by RV show operators) to conduct shows in Sparks. In determining this amount of time to be appropriate, staff considered the need to assemble and disassemble the show site, along with transportation of vehicles onto and off of the site.
The proposed amendment would require all RV shows and other vehicle sales events seeking a TUP to have a City of Sparks business license.
The proposed amendment would permit vehicle sales events only in the Tourist Commercial (TC) and I (Industrial) zoning districts; in the latter district, vehicle sales events would be permitted only on sites meeting the City’s locational criteria as specified in SMC 20.02.009 (Locationally Restricted Parcels). Staff believes these two zoning districts are appropriate for vehicle sales events due to the availability of large paved sites suitable for vehicle sales and because these districts are generally separated from residential uses. Further, TC districts are generally in proximity to major roads, such as I-80. In the past, vehicle sales events have been permitted at the Legends at Sparks Marina Planned Development (Legends) because the development standards handbook for Legends allows uses that are permitted in TC districts. Accordingly, the proposed amendment will also allow temporary vehicle sales events where TC uses are permitted by a planned development handbook.
By allowing up to fourteen (14) calendar days for these events, operators will have adequate time to set up, conduct, and take down the events. Staff also recommends requiring fourteen (14) calendar days between events to prevent an “ongoing” vehicle sales show.
Because many RV shows are held in summer months with longer daylight hours, staff believes the need for temporary lighting is unnecessary. Moreover, the proposed standards require that vehicle shows be held on approved parking lots, which are already required to have lighting. Due to the nature of the temporary use, staff is proposing to allow the shows to operate between the hours of 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. to reduce the potential impact the use might have on surrounding properties and uses.
The proposed regulations emphasize the need to keep RV show sites free of litter and other debris during the course of an event. Operators must provide appropriate trash receptacles and restroom facilities, but these items, as well as all vehicles and equipment associated with the sales event, must be removed from the site prior to the expiration of the Temporary Use Permit.
Other proposed standards intended to mitigate impacts on existing uses on or adjacent to a site used for a vehicle show include requiring a cumulative parking analysis and the provision of parking for event customers at a ratio of 1 parking space per 3,000 square feet of event space. As an example of the former, if a retail use requires 200 parking spaces, and the RV show utilizes 100 spaces, the operator will need to demonstrate that the 200 spaces required for the retail use are still available. Additionally, sales event operators will need to demonstrate that they are able to provide parking for their customers within 100 feet of the event.
The proposed regulations also prohibit washing or repairing vehicles on the show site or producing amplified sound. These activities would increase the impacts of the temporary use on the site and on adjacent property owners and uses. Lastly, any test driving of vehicles must be conducted off-site on public streets in order to prevent safety issues from arising on the site.
The Planning Commission believes that the proposed changes will contribute to the Comprehensive Plan goal of making Sparks a destination for businesses wishing to conduct RV shows or other temporary vehicle sales events. In addition, staff believes the proposed amendment will aid in attracting visitors to Sparks, bringing guests to hotels, drawing patrons to restaurants and retail businesses, and generating sales for vehicle vendors. As a result, the proposed changes will contribute to the following Comprehensive Plan goals:
GOAL CC1: Ensure that Sparks’ physical environment, services and amenities make it a city of choice for residents and businesses.
GOAL EV5: Identify and respond to potential economic development opportunities, including emerging industries, which may arise from environmental and regulatory changes.
01 -DRAFT CA-2-19 ordinance.pdf
02 - Exhibit A - Amendment.pdf
03 - Exhibit B - CA-2-19 Report of Action.pdf