If the land use change is approved at the meeting, it will then go to the Regional Planning Commission for a final review, according to Sparks Assistant City Attorney Doug Thornley.
As of Sunday, three council members will be able to vote on the land use change, with council members Phil Salerno and Mike Carrigan abstaining due to an order from the Nevada Commission on Ethics.
The council will also vote on land use changes that would reclassify appropriate land uses for a majority of the downtown Sparks area. The Transit Oriented Development Corridor, which consists of a 2,300 acre strip along Interstate 80, would change land uses and development standards in the hope of spurring revitalization and reinvestment in southern Sparks, according to city planner Jim Rundle.
The plan will change zoning and planning standards in a large part of Sparks to allow for higher neighborhood densities. The plan’s new zoning standards would also encourage more foot traffic and a strengthened public transit system.
The plan for the land use changes received a first reading at the Sparks City Council’s July 13 meeting. Today, it will receive its final reading and possible adoption.
Redevelopment issues will make another appearance on today’s agenda. However, this item concerns securing the funding to follow through with downtown redevelopment.
The council is scheduled to discuss a few loans between different city coffers that could further redevelopment in Victorian Square. The total loan amount could not exceed $1.25 million and the money would be taken out of the city’s general fund.
The next steps for Victorian Square redevelopment include putting in a road that would circle the plaza in front of the Century 14 movie theater, according to redevelopment officials.
According to comment from Sparks Finance Director Tom Minton at the council’s most recent meeting, these improvements are necessary now because they are generic improvements and “prices are really good right now.”
Also at the meeting, the Sparks Police Department is also proposing a change in city law regarding alcohol sales.
Currently, store clerks must have “an actual knowledge that the recipient (of the alcohol) is under the age of 21 years,” according to a city report prepared by Tom Riley, Sparks senior assistant city attorney.
Riley further states that the word “knowing” in the law is making enforcement and prosecution a nightmare.
“Store employees who intentionally have not checked an underage person’s identification before selling alcoholic beverages to them are being found not guilty of a crime,” the report states.
The proposed change would remove the word “knowing” from the city’s municipal code that defines alcohol sales laws.
The first reading of the proposed change will occur today at the Sparks City Council’s regularly scheduled 3 p.m. meeting. The final reading and possible adoption will take place on Aug. 10.
Finally, the Spanish Springs sewer project will potentially take its last political step before ground is broken on Vista Boulevard.
The council could approve a contract with Reno Tahoe Construction for more than $6.6 million.
The sewer project has hit many clogs since it was first advertised for bids.
A lawsuit from Laborers Union 169 business manager Richard Daly alleged that the city’s purchase manager broke the law when he rejected the first round of project bids and reopened the process for a second time. Daly pointed to Nevada Revised Statute and city code, claiming that only the City Council can make changes on project bids that reach into the millions of dollars.
Daly also claimed that reopening the project provided bidding competitors with additional information about other companies and their bids, making the process unfair.
In an opinion issued July 14, Judge Janet Berry of the Second Judicial Court of the State of Nevada denied the petition made by Richard Daly concerning the authority of the City of Sparks Purchasing Manager to reject bids.
In the order, Berry states, "The Court is satisfied the City's Purchasing Manager acted within his lawful, discretionary authority as the City's representative in rejecting the bids submitted for the Project. The record does not suggest the Purchasing Manager manifestly abused his discretion or exercised his discretion arbitrarily or capriciously."