For Immediate Release
Contact: Amy Ventetuolo
Reno, Nev. Nov. 12, 2019. The following report highlights several important agenda items from the Washoe County Board of Commissioners meeting:
1. Commissioners discuss and provide direction for the regulation of short-term rentals. Washoe County staff is in the process of establishing standards for short-term rentals in unincorporated Washoe County. Short-term rentals (STR's) are generally operated out of private residences such as homes, apartments and condos. They are commonly made available through property management companies and online booking services such as Airbnb and VRBO, and are generally booked for 28-days or fewer.
After multiple community meetings to hear public feedback, and after today’s public comment, Commissioners decided to provide direction regarding Washoe County’s STR’s to establish standards and a permitting process for short-term rentals. Commissioners gave direction to continue working on recommendations including parking and occupancy. This is one step toward creating regulations and a permitting process to move forward.
"We want to do what we can to get this in place and get it right," said Commissioner Marsha Berkbigler. "Regulations are the best approach that will address this issue for all involved; we know it’s a work in progress."
Next steps will be to incorporate today's direction into code language, which will then be released for a 21-day public comment period. Formal review and approval of code language will come back to the Board of Commissioners in early 2020.
2. Authorization of an appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court regarding residential property tax in Incline Village. A series of legal challenges to property tax assessments for properties in the Incline Village/Crystal Bay area of Washoe County began in 2003. The litigations were initiated by various groups of taxpayers and involved the decisions of the Washoe County Board of Equalization, and the Nevada State Board of Equalizations. The case titled Village League to Save Incline Village Assets vs. State Board of Equalization (Case No. CV03-06922) began as a challenge to the constitutionality of property tax assessments in the Tahoe area of Washoe County.
After a history of court proceedings, on October 21, 2019 Second Judicial District Court Judge Kathleen Drakulich, vacated the State Board’s equalization decision, ordered the replacement of the 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06 taxable land values for residential parcels in Incline Village and Crystal Bay with 2002-03 taxable land values, and ordered the payment of property tax refunds to the taxpayers within one year.
After discussion, Commissioners decided to authorize and appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court and to pursue outside counsel. The deadline to file the notice of appeal is November 21, 2019.
3. New homeless housing project receives funding for construction. Commissioners approved a $3 million construction agreement between Washoe County and Q&D Construction to revamp three additional buildings at the new Northern Nevada Adult Mental Health Services Homeless Housing Project in Sparks.
Funding will pay for the third phase of construction at the campus, which includes interior demolition, new flooring, paint, restrooms, and remodeled kitchens, along with several additional improvements.
The Northern Nevada Adult Mental Health Services Homeless Housing Project, now officially re-named Our Place, is where Washoe County will relocate the homeless women, maternity and families from the downtown shelter. The separation of the populations will provide the ability for targeted case management and additional supportive services to help those populations work toward employment and housing sustainability. There will also be an Early Learning Center on the campus, which will provide a daycare option to the families residing there.
“In its original design, the campus served hundreds of patients with mental illness throughout the years. Many of them were also laid to rest adjacent to the living quarters. William Place was the first patient that passed on that campus. Our Place was chosen to give honor to all of those who are challenged with mental illness or lack of support systems. Let him serve as motivation to all of us that need a safe place, support and assistance in building a better tomorrow while ensuring someone’s dignity. We are proud of Our Place and we are so grateful for this project and all that it will do for our citizens,” said Director of Washoe County Human Services Agency, Amber Howell.
4. Storey County seniors to receive meals through Washoe County Human Services Agency. In an effort to continue to provide quality service and keep up the increase in need for senior meal services, Commissioners approved an agreement for the Human Services Agency (HSA) to provide the Senior Nutrition Program to seniors in Storey County through September 2021. Storey County will purchase more than 500 meals a month that will serve seniors in need.
In addition to serving Storey County, HSA provides meals to Washoe County seniors through the Senior Nutrition Meal Program. Seniors are invited to eat lunch at one of our senior lunch sites. All sites, except the Reno Senior Center, require seniors to call and reserve a meal by 8:30 a.m. on the day the meal is served.
5. Statewide Silver Crucible 2019 Emergency Preparedness Exercise begins today. Multiple agencies and organizations throughout the northern Nevada region will be embarking on a three-day statewide emergency preparedness exercise, also known as Silver Crucible 2019.
Silver Crucible 2019 will be a full-scale, mass-casualty exercise designed to test the capabilities of the State of Nevada, to solidify and communicate intelligence, respond to, and recover from a complex coordinated terrorist attack. Exercise activities will occur in Washoe County, Clark County, Lyon County, Storey County, Douglas County, and Carson City. The objective is to engage emergency management, law enforcement, fire, emergency medical services, hospitals, the private sector, and volunteer agencies in multiple locations. The end result will be lessons learned, corrective actions to improve public safety, and updated plans.