This request is for approval of an amendment to the Handbook that: (a) modifies the leasable area classifications for the small shop and sub-major retail tenant categories for the purpose of establishing the size of the letters permitted on their signs; and 2) changes the location of required landscaping associated with the buffer wall along the western boundary of the site.
As proposed, the Handbook would be modified, for purposes of determining the sign standards that apply to a retail space, to lower the minimum leasable area necessary to qualify as “Sub-Major Retail Tenant” from 15,000 square feet to 8,000 square feet, and to lower the maximum leasable area for a “Small Shop Retail Tenant” from 14,999 square feet to 7,999 square feet. Additions and deletions reflecting these changes in a “redline format” are shown below:
Signs shall be classified according to the tenant types with which they are associated:
Small Shop Retail Tenant: Leasable area 0 - 14
7,999 square feet
Sub-Major Retail Tenant: Leasable area
158,000 – 119,999 square feet
Major Retail Tenant: Leasable area 120,000 square feet and above
Out-Parcel (Single) Tenant: Stand-alone structures 15,000 square feet and below comprised of a single tenant.
Casino / Hotel
The Handbook currently includes standards limiting the height of letters on signs, with different types of tenants (see table above) permitted different letter heights based on their respective square footage. The allowable letter heights are not proposed to be changed; rather, the proposed Handbook amendment would increase the already allowed sign letter height for tenants leasing between 8,000 and 15,000 square feet of retail space from 30-inch letters for wall signs and 16-inch letters for marquee signs to 48-inch letters for wall signs and 20-inch letters for marquee signs. Existing and future tenant spaces total 64 small shops and eight sub-major tenants. The proposed amendment would affect six existing and two future retail tenant spaces (11% of total tenant spaces at the site).
This request also proposes to modify the landscaping associated with the buffer wall along the western side of the site that separates commercial uses in the Legends planned development from adjacent residential uses in the Marina Village planned development. The Handbook currently requires landscaping on both sides of the buffer wall and specifies the planting bed located on the residential, or west side of the buffer wall, be a minimum of ten feet in width. Exhibits 3-A and 3-B show, consistent with the revised Handbook, the location of the buffer wall. Exhibits 3-C to 3-E provide cross sections illustrating the buffer wall and adjacent landscaping.
From Bayshore Drive north to Lincoln Way (Exhibit 3-A), the proposed changes identify a future buffer wall to be located on the east side of Windsurfer Drive. Ten feet of landscaping buffer will be required on the west side of the wall, including a sidewalk if necessary, with five feet of landscaping required on the east side of the wall (Exhibit 3-C, Cross Section A-A).
From Bayshore Drive south to approximately the northern property line of the northernmost of the two existing hotels (Exhibit 3-B), the proposed amendment eliminates the requirement for a 10-foot-wide planting bed on the residential, or west side of the buffer wall, and instead requires a landscape buffer that is a minimum of 10 feet in width on the east side of the buffer wall (Exhibit 3-D, Cross Section B-B), codifying the as-built condition.
For the section to the south between the existing hotels and the Harbour Cove subdivision (Exhibit 3-B), the proposed changes also codify the as-built condition by eliminating the requirement for a 10-foot-wide planting bed on the west side of the buffer wall and requiring a landscape buffer that is a minimum of eight feet in width on the hotel, or east side, of the buffer wall (Exhibit 3-E, Cross Section C-C).
A gate is required at the south end of Windsurfer Drive to allow City personnel to access the infrastructure located at the east end of the canal.
For the reasons discussed below, the Planning Commission determined that findings PDa through PDj can be made and recommended that the City Council approve the proposed amendments to the Legends at Sparks Marina Planned Development Handbook.
SMC 20.02.012(G)(6) includes ten findings that the Planning Commission and City Council must consider when reviewing a proposed modification of a final approved plan for a planned development. Those findings are discussed below.
PDa: The amendment is consistent with the City’s Comprehensive Plan and Truckee Meadows Regional Plan and otherwise consistent with Nevada and federal law.
The Comprehensive Plan Goals and Policies relevant to the Handbook amendment are:
|Foster diversity in the land use mix including residential, commercial, industrial, employment and recreational areas citywide.
||Ensure that Sparks' physical environment, services and amenities make it a city of choice for residents and businesses
||Maintain a physical and regulatory environment that facilitates innovation, entrepreneurship and small business development while providing for long-term environmental and regulatory changes
The requested amendment modifies the location of landscaping along the west buffer wall that separates commercial uses in the Legends planned development from residential uses to the west. As proposed, the modifications to the location of required landscaping will promote continued compatibility between residential and commercial uses, supporting Goals MG2 and CC1.
Modifications to the leasable area thresholds for small shop and sub-major tenant spaces permit larger sign letter height dimensions (48 inches versus 30 inches for wall signs and 20 inches versus 16 inches for marquee signs) for tenants between 8,000 and 15,000 square feet, also supporting Goals MG2 and CC1. These sign standard modifications further support Goal EV4 by enhancing the shopping center’s placemaking elements, identifying tenant spaces, and facilitating the retention and attraction of Legends businesses.
PDb: The amendment is consistent with the surrounding land uses.
The proposed amendments to the Handbook do not change the types of land uses permitted within Legends planned development, only certain development standards related to signs and landscaping associated with the west buffer wall. While the amount of landscaping adjacent to single-family residential uses on the west side of the buffer wall would be reduced, these changes codify the as-built condition that has not adversely impacted these adjacent single-family residences. Therefore, this amendment does not adversely impact surrounding land uses.
PDc: Will be fiscally positive to the City for a period of at least 20 years if the site affected by the modification, removal or release is 20 or more acres and the modification, removal, or release involves permitted uses, residential density, or nonresidential density.
A fiscal analysis was not required with this amendment because there are no proposed changes to densities or types of land uses.
PDd: Furthers the mutual interest of the residents and owners upon the provisions of the plan.
As discussed in Finding A above, the proposed modifications to sign standards will assist with placemaking and tenant space identification within the Legends development and will not adversely affect adjacent residential uses. Modification of the required landscaping along the west buffer wall is not anticipated to adversely impact adjacent residential uses as the changes reflect the as-built condition south of Bayshore Drive.
PDe: Will not impair the reasonable reliance of the residents and owners upon the provisions of the plan.
There are no proposed changes to the land uses permitted by the Handbook, and the proposed amendment is not anticipated to have any negative impacts on residents, owners, tenants, or the public.
PDf: Will not result in changes that would adversely affect the public interest.
The public interest is served by the modifications to retail tenant signs as they provide for more visible, but not excessive, identification for additional retailers within the Legends development. The modifications to landscaping adjacent to the west buffer wall support continued compatibility between commercial uses in the Legends development and adjacent residential uses and therefore do not adversely affect the public interest.
PDg: Is consistent with the efficient development and preservation of the entire planned development.
As the proposed modifications to the Handbook are limited to amending the sign standards for small shop and sub-major retailers and the requirements for landscaping adjacent to the walls on the western border of the site, the efficient development and preservation of the entire planned development are not affected.
PDh: Does not adversely affect either the enjoyment of land abutting upon or across a street from the planned unit development or the public interest.
Modifying the sign standards to increase letter height for tenants between 8,000 and 15,000 square feet in size supports tenant identification within the Legends planned development and does not impact land abutting or across the street from the site. The modification to the landscape buffer standards reflects the as-built condition south of Bayshore Drive and is not anticipated to adversely impact adjacent uses.
PDi: Is not granted solely to confer a private benefit upon any person.
The buffer walls serve the Legends planned development, the Marina Village planned development, and the public. The modified sign classifications also serve the entire planned development and the public by providing for easy identification of additional tenants of the Legends shopping center, so the Handbook changes would not be granted to confer a private benefit upon any person.
PDj: Public notice was given and a public hearing held as required by the Sparks Municipal Code and Nevada Revised Statutes.
Public notice was given as required by the Sparks Municipal Code and Nevada Revised Statutes. The Planning Commission and City Council meetings function as the public hearings for this item. This request was noticed, at a minimum, to all owners of property within the Legends planned development and within 750 feet of the Legends planned development boundary. A total of 106 notices were mailed to property owners on March 29, 2021. Public notice was also published in the Reno Gazette-Journal on March 29, 2021.