For Immediate Release
Contact: Amy Ventetuolo
Reno, Nev. Feb. 25, 2020. The following report highlights important agenda items from the Washoe County Board of County Commissioners meeting:
1. Commissioners provide direction on draft code changes for short-term rentals. The Washoe County Commissioners heard a first reading of ordinances establishing standards and a permitting process for short-term rentals. Short-term rentals are generally operated out of private residences such as homes, apartments and condos, commonly made available through property management companies and online booking services such as Airbnb and VRBO.
Draft changes to the Washoe County Code within Chapters 110, 50 and 125 to establish standards and processes for short-term rentals (STRs) in unincorporated Washoe County are proposed as follows:
Chapter 110 code changes. Amendments to this chapter establish standards and processes for short-term rentals. These changes include the creation of three permitting tiers for short-term rentals based on the maximum number of occupants in the home. The new standards would also establish safety minimums for STRs as well as address quality of life impacts such as parking, noise and trash.
Chapter 50 code changes. These changes would classify operation of an unpermitted short-term rental as a public nuisance.
Chapter 125 code changes. These code changes establish enforcement provisions for STRs including those related to inspections, evidence, appeals, warnings, and penalties.
On January 7, 2020, the Washoe County Planning Commission reviewed the proposed changes for Chapter 110 and voted unanimously to recommend approval.
After discussion and public comment, the Board of County Commissioners recommended changes to the draft code regarding occupancy, parking and signage. An updated ordinance with the Board’s direction is expected to be brought back to the Board as early as the end of March 2020.
2. Commissioners discuss formation of Washoe County Arts Commission. The Board of County Commissioners discussed establishing a Washoe County Arts Commission to guide art and cultural activities on county-owned property or projects within unincorporated Washoe County. The Washoe County Arts Commission would be established to complement the existing, similar boards in both the Cities of Reno and Sparks and support the arts, economic development, and quality of life in the region.
After discussion, the Board gave direction to return with an inventory of county art, budgets on other commissions and to continue to coordinate efforts with the City of Reno and City of Sparks Arts Commissions, for opportunities to better supplement existing programs.
3. Washoe County 2020 Hazard Mitigation Plan approved. Every five years the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requires that each jurisdiction prepare and adopt a Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan. To prepare for the 2020 plan, Washoe County Emergency Management worked with a variety of partners to ensure a regional approach to mitigation.
The 2020 updated plan was produced with experts from the various public safety disciplines throughout Washoe County as well as private businesses and citizens. The plan includes the cities of Sparks and Reno, the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, Truckee River Flood Management Authority (TRFMA), as well as the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District (TMFPD) and the North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District (NLTFPD). The plan was presented to citizens in four public meetings and has been approved by the State of Nevada and FEMA. Today’s approval by County Commission is the final step in the process to adopt the 2020 plan.
4. Commissioners approve agreements for Tennis Club & Sober 24 programs. Commissioners approved agreements to ensure continued operations for county residents:
- Washoe County and the Reno Tennis Club agreement which allows for use of the Washoe Tennis Center adjacent to the Washoe County Golf Course. Reno Tennis Club will pay $3,000 per year toward the maintenance and repair of the facility to be utilized for tournaments and lessons. As a valued partner, Reno Tennis Club typically invests $15,000-$20,000 per year in improvements to the facility, above and beyond the required amount.
- Washoe County lease agreement with Song Properties, LLC, to allow for the successful Sober 24 program to maintain occupancy at 1530 East 6th Street in Reno, for a 60-month term commencing March 1, 2020 through February 28, 2025. The lease amount is $101,604.00 annually with a 2.5% annual increase, a savings from previous agreements.
Commissioners moved to approve the request pending pre-event conditions have been met, including but not limited to conditions on parking, security, lighting, hours, alcoholic beverage and food consumption, ingress and egress, temporary restroom facilities and fire safety.