MURPMassively Underutilized Retail Properties.  Park Lane is getting all the hate right now, but it is not the only huge hole that needs fixing.

I’m calling out these MURPs right now because Reno is embarking on a much-needed  update to their Master Plan.  There has been so much focus on the South Virginia Corridor that the much more forlorn Kietzke Corridor is being forgotten.

MURPS-page-0I was also blown away by the extent of the mobile home parks in this golden triangle.

I’m hoping that our Planners will be let loose to actually plan – Reno’s staff is pretty talented, if overworked and understaffed at the moment.  The update will probably end up being another Balkanization into defensive Neighborhood Plans promoted special interests with a few major developer oriented give-aways thrown in, but a blogger can hope.  Here are a couple of key issues and directions I would like to see:

–  INTENSIVE emphasis on driving development back into the urban core.  Sewer Connection fees ($7000 per unit) and Transit Impact Fees should be waived here where the capacity already exists, as well as Park fees.  These fee waivers would be for the Transit Corridors, Regional Centers, and Redevelopment zones.  Existing fees within the McCarran Loop.  Triple fees in the outlying areas.

–  Increase taxes/fees on undeveloped land in the Urban Core to nudge redevelopment.

–  Standardize Regional and Neighborhood Plan standards when reasonable.  The current system is Reverse Polish (TI calculator reference) and impossible to decipher.  Reno Planning has been wrong 75% of the time on their plan check comments on my recent permit submissions because even they can’t decode the code.

–  Update and/or eliminate the Neighborhood Plans.  West University was pushed through by residents primarily concerned with parking.  Newlands and Plumas by anti residential to office conversions which is now deterring office to residential conversion, ironically.  Wells is an unwieldy mess that covers too many disparate uses, and lead to West of Wells and the Conservation District.

–  Recognize that Reno in 5 years will not resemble the Reno of today.  There is a place where Woodland Village can coexist with Midtown.  Where does the new workforce we are attracting want to live, and how can we make that happen?

So what do you think are the important issues that need to be addressed in the Master Plan?  What’s your vision of the New Reno?