A building permit for a 5 storey parking garage has been filed for the Park Lane project on APN 015-220-65.  That’s a bit NW of the existing theater   identified as 1A.  The original plan indicated 202 units, and the RGJ story mentions 227 units on the 3.524 acre site, for a density of 64 units per acre.

Park Lane is part of the MUSV South Virginia Transit Oriented Development overlay.  In the North District (South District starts at Moana) and not in Midtown which generally ends at Mount Rose.  It should be noted that Reno Zoning is PARCEL based, not PROJECT based unless there is a PUD or SUP in place.  Unless I’m missing something, Park Lane has neither.

So what is allowed to be built here under current Zoning and Development Code?  MU has some setback requirements, but no height or density restrictions unless modified by the adoption of a Specific Plan (like MUSV). Parcels fronting on S Virginia Street have some minimum setback and density standards, but no maximum density or height restrictions (unless the FAA disapproves).  Parcels not “adjacent” to SVA have a MAXIMUM density of MF30.  Code excerpt:

f. Density and Intensity.
The minimum residential density, on parcels located adjacent to South Virginia
Street, shall be 18 dwelling units per acre. The maximum density on parcels that
are not located adjacent to South Virginia Street and not located within the
Midtown District shall be 30 dwelling units per acre.

Uh Oh.  The parcel under development is certainly not adjacent to Virginia Street by any eyeball or by Code definition.  In fact, the permit assigns it a 0 Plumb Lane address.  It is allowed 105 units by right with unlimited height, and over 200 units are proposed.

Reno Planning has a very rigorous and linear approval process which has bitten me in the butt more times than I can recount.  Their requirements are generally arcane and on first (and second and third) review quite incomprehensible.  Yet I and my clients comply with Planning’s set process, even when it makes no sense.  I understand that a NO is easier to deal with than a YES that has to be justified, it is just frustrating.  Planning is all about their process and details of their own process.  It will be interesting to see how they deal with a much higher level planning issue than I usually deal with in a politically charged arena.

I think I know how the story ends.

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