Sparks City Council Meeting 2/11/2013 2:00:00 PMMonday, February 11, 2013 2:00 PM
745 Fourth St, Sparks, NV 89431
Planning and Zoning Public Hearings and Action Items: 8.1
Title: Public Hearing, 2nd Reading, discussion and possible action of CA-7-12 Bill#2649 an ordinance by the City of Sparks amending Title 20, Chapter 20.07.030 of the Sparks Municipal Code (decisions subject to review and methods of appeal) to shorten the appeal period for Planning Commission and administrative actions and other matters properly related thereto.
Petitioner/Presenter: City of Sparks/Jim Rundle, Senior Planner
Recommendation: The Planning Commission and the Community Services Department recommend approval of CA-7-12.
Financial Impact: N/A
Business Impact (Per NRS 237):
A Business Impact Statement is not required because this is not a rule.
A Business Impact Statement is not required because this is not a rule.
Agenda Item Brief: At a City Council meeting in 2012, the City Council directed that staff look at amendments to the development codes to remove barriers to development and job creation. This proposal is to shorten the appeal period of Administrative decisions and actions of the Planning Commission from 21 days to 11 calendar days. Reducing the appeal period may create an environment where projects can move more efficiently toward breaking ground, and if there are concerns, appeals must be filed more quickly for City Council considerations
Background: At a City Council meeting earlier this year, the City Council directed that staff look at amendments to the development codes to remove barriers to development and job creation. Staff, with the help of a consultant team led by Clarion Associates, conducted an analysis of the chapter Title 20 (zoning and land use controls) of the Sparks Municipal This past August, the City Council received a presentation from Clarion regarding some of the early findings of the study. In September the Council received a report providing a detailed analysis of their findings and recommendations. There have been two workshops for the City Council to discuss the findings of the report. Through those discussions, the City Council has directed staff to initiate specific amendments to the zoning code. This proposal is to amend Chapter 20.07 of the Sparks Municipal Code. More specifically, this proposal is to shorten the appeal period of Administrative decisions and actions of the Planning Commission from 21 days to 11 calendar days. With the help of the consulting team, staff conducted stakeholder meetings to understand barriers to development and investment as perceived by business and development interest. It was through these meetings that staff identified a building permit can be issued, even if staff recommends approval to the Planning Commission and the Planning Commission approves the application. Reducing the appeal period may create an environment where projects can move more efficiently toward breaking ground, and if there are concerns, appeals must be filed more quickly for City Council considerations.
Analysis: Sparks would not be the only jurisdiction in Nevada with an 11 calendar day appeal period as staff identified through the zoning code analysis that Las Vegas has provides 10 days for an appeal to be filed. Shortening appeal periods provides earlier certainty to an applicant, thus allowing construction or occupation to begin more quickly, reducing the time spent in the entitlement process. Council adoption of a shorter appeal period could convey a message to the development community that Sparks is intent on streamlining the development process and moving projects more quickly from concept to execution. The tradeoff off a shorter appeal period is that affected parties have less time to evaluate potential impacts of a decision and to determine if the cost and time involved in an appeal would be worthwhile. Staff proposes reducing the appeal period to ten days. Currently, appeals can be filed with the City Clerk without citing specifically the reasons for and the aspects of the decision being appealed. Staff is proposing revising the procedure for filing an appeal. The new proposal would require the appellant to identify all pertinent issues when filing an appeal. Specific language has been proposed in paragraph 20.07.030B. After coordinating with the City Attorney office, this proposal includes adding paragraph 20.07.030 to clarify that City Council decisions constitute final decision of the City which are subject only to judicial review. This proposed ordinance affects decisions made by City staff or the Sparks Planning Commission. The amendment proposals are below. Staff has struck words and added words. Struck words are reflected by line-out, added words are reflected in bold with both italics and underline. Staff is proposing to amend the code as follows: Section 20.07.030 Decisions subject to review and methods of appeal. A. Every action or decision of the planning commission or of any person engaged in the administration or enforcement of this title, other than a recommendation or other action or decision routinely reviewed by the city council, may be appealed to the city council by any person who is aggrieved by the action or decision. B. Unless otherwise provided, any person aggrieved by any such action or decision, or any person engaged in the administration or enforcement of this title affected by such action or decision, may appeal such action or decision to the city council, by filing a written notice of appeal with the city clerk which identifies all pertinent issues within twenty one eleven calendar days after such action or decision. Upon such filing, the city clerk shall set the matter for public hearing at the next available regular meeting of the city council. The city council shall review the matter de novo, and may affirm, modify, remand for further consideration or reverse the action or decision. In deciding an appeal the Sparks City Council will be guided by the statement of purpose underlying the regulation of the improvement of land expressed in Nevada state law. C. The mayor or any member of the city council may request review of a planning commission action or decision with a written notice to the city clerk or orally at a meeting of the city council. Any such notice must be made within twenty one eleven calendar days after such action or decision. D. The right to appeal to the city council shall be deemed to have been waived upon failure to comply with the procedures set forth in this section or any rules and regulations adopted by the administrator of this title pursuant to Section 20.07.040 E. The decision of the Sparks City Council is a final decision for the purpose of judicial review. Any person who has appealed a decision to the governing body in accordance with this section and is aggrieved with the decision of the Sparks City Council may appeal the decision to Washoe County District Court by filing a petition for judicial review within 25 days after the date of filing of notice of the decision with the clerk of the Sparks City Council.
Alternatives: The Council may choose to remand the proposal back to the Planning Commission, modify the proposal or to deny the proposal.
Recommended Motion: I move to adopt Bill #2649 amending Title 20 of the Sparks Municipal Code modifying the expiration provisions for Special Use Permits (Chapter 20.13) and Site Plan Review (Chapter 20.31) and other matters properly relating thereto.