Top headlines to know from the Board of County Commissioners meeting
Smoke-free parks heading to Washoe County

Media Release
For Immediate Release

Contact: Amy Ventetuolo

Reno, Nev. April 10, 2018. The following report highlights several important agenda items from the Washoe County Board of Commissioners meeting.

1. Commissioners move forward creating smoke and vape-free parks in Washoe County. In a collaborative effort to create healthier environments in parks throughout our region, Washoe County, in alignment with regional partners, has moved to approve creating smoke-free parks in Washoe County.

The Park Commissions from Washoe County, City of Reno and City of Sparks have voted to support smoke and vape-free parks throughout each jurisdiction and make changes to their respective ordinances.

“As Commissioners and northern Nevada residents, we’re proud of our open space, we’re proud of our parks and this is the right thing to do for our community,” says Commissioner Bob Lucey. “We need to look at this from a global level, as long as we maintain parks, this falls in line with our vision and our mission.”

Commissioners moved to approve staff to draft changes to Chapter 95 of Washoe County code that would prohibit smoking and vaping within Washoe County parks. Possible adoption of these changes will continue to come back to the Board of County Commissioners over the next several months as staff works through the changes.

2. Commissioners approve agreement and contributions for Flood Response Action Plan. An interlocal agreement between Washoe County, the City of Reno, the City of Sparks, TRFMA, Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, and the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe was approved for a regional Flood Response Action Plan (FRAP). In addition, Commissioners also approved a contribution of $25,000 from the Truckee River Flood Management Authority toward the FRAP.

The FRAP serves as the overarching operational document to guide the regional partners through the response to and recovery from flood incidents. Due to recent flooding events, updates to the FRAP are necessary and Washoe County has engaged the services of Ecology and Environment, Inc. to conduct that work.

3. Commissioners approve marijuana regulations and fees for unincorporated Washoe County. Commissioners heard three items regarding marijuana including general marijuana regulations, a business license fee schedule and consumption lounges.  

Changes to Washoe County code, Chapters 25, 53 and 110, has been adopted in today’s meeting to provide for permanent regulations regarding the zoning, licensing and public safety related to marijuana in unincorporated Washoe County.

As allowed by state laws, Commissioners adopted an updated Master Business License Fee Schedule which includes new quarterly marijuana establishment license fees, which will be 3 percent of a marijuana establishment’s reported quarterly gross revenue. In addition, the proposed marijuana establishment will incur a $500 relocation application fee.

Commissioners also discussed dedicating staff time to researching marijuana consumption lounges in unincorporated Washoe County. After discussion and public comment, Commissioners did not support allowing more staff time to pursue consumption lounges in unincorporated Washoe County, however they would allow for discussion in the future.

“We are committed to making the best decisions regarding marijuana implementation in Washoe County as mandated by the state,” says Chair Marsha Berkbigler. “We are taking into consideration all the issues including location, public safety, licensing and revenue to the region. Our goal is to implement this as responsibly as possible for all of our citizens.”

4. Commissioners Proclaim April 8-14 as National Crime Victims' Rights Week. Commissioner Lucey read a proclamation for National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, to honor and bring awareness to support victims of crime.

“Too often, after a crime has occurred and a perpetrator detained, the victim of the crime loses some rights and voice in the process” says Commissioner Bob Lucey. “Washoe County is proud to support a stronger voice for Nevadans who have been victims of crime.”

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