What is the difference between an Efficiency unit, a Boarding House unit, and a Single Room Occupancy unit (SRO)?  And why does it matter?  Parking!

An Efficiency Unit per Reno Code: Section 18.24.203.1830. – Dwelling Unit, Efficiency.

 A dwelling unit consisting of not more than one habitable room, together with kitchen or kitchenette and sanitary facilities.
A Boarding House unit defined:
Section 18.24.203.730. – Boarding or Rooming House.A building or portion thereof (not a hotel or motel) where, for reasonable compensation, lodging is provided for more than five guests. Cooking facilities may or may not be available.
And SRO:
Section 18.24.203.4620. – Single Room Occupancy.A commercial residential hotel providing sleeping and living facilities that may rent on a weekly or monthly basis as a primary residence. Cooking and sanitary facilities shall be provided within the unit. Does not include any building, structure, or property in which persons are housed or detained under legal restraint or hospitalized or otherwise under medical, nursing, or psychiatric care.
You can do a long-term lease on an Efficiency unit, but only month to month for Boarding House or SRO uses.  Parking requirement for an Efficiency is 1.12:1 City wide and 1:1 in Midtown and Wells.  SRO is 1:2.2 or 1:4.4 if within 500 feet of a transit STOP (not just transit line).  SROs require a common entrance which is tough to comply with neighborhood plans that require street facing entries.  So Boarding House land use seems to be the killer app – there isn’t even a restriction that would prevent a full 1 bedroom unit being considered a BH.
Planning intent trumped by their own code and Business Licensing requirements?  I’m not weeping.
This post may sound petty and esoteric, but Planning and Land Use decisions are being made based on archaic land use and parking standards.  There are huge development opportunities right now if you where to look and know how to work within a dysfunctional code.   Think Wells CC!
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