Reno has been working on updating its 1200+ page Annexation and Development Code for a couple of years now.  The Final Draft has just been issued, and the targeted adopting date by Council is 9 December.  The best place to learn about the Update is HERE.   Start by downloading Summary of New Code Amendments before you start wading through the 676 of new and improved code.

I do not mean to diminish all the hard work that has been put in to get us to this final draft.  It is a very political process with lots of compromise involved.  Some early take-aways:

  •  It will be much easier now to discover the ways Reno will quash your development.
  •  How much did we pay to cop the graphics and format from Sparks?
  •  Sustainability – I’m sure there was a group hug over this section, but scoring each project on a points system is a logistical nightmare.  Who will be the Arbiter of Sustainability?  Points can be awarded by each view station (Planning, Building, Engineering, and maybe even Health) and are awarded across permits that are submitted separately (sprinkler and irrigation comes to mind).
  • Suburban Parkageddon –  I’m the ultimate free-market parking guy for housing, but only in dense/walkable neighborhoods and where public transportation and street parking is available.  The proposed citywide standard of 1 parking space per unit will be catastrophic in outlying areas without public transportation or streets.  The proposed Bluffs Apartments next to Boomtown currently requires 470 parking spaces for its 243 units.  The new standard is 243, a 48% reduction.
  •  Why will the Wells District have the highest required parking residential parking requirement in the entire City of Reno?
  •  Why are multifamily units up to 4-plexes required to have separate utility metering?  We do that when it makes sense, but usually not for TMWA water.
  • Bonus Density Credits for small units!  99% of urban infill units are “small” – why not just increase the base zoning?

Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of positive changes in the proposed code update.  I’m posting this because the readers of this wee Blog are interested in Real Estate, but may not be aware of how the proposed code affects their neighborhoods or their assets.  It is last call to get your concerns heard.