Home>Articles>City of Reno To Consider Rezoning Single Family Neighborhoods To Allow for ‘Affordable Housing’

Reno Arch in the Morning, Reno, NV, Mar. 8, 2020. (Photo: SnapASkyline/Shutterstock)

City of Reno To Consider Rezoning Single Family Neighborhoods To Allow for ‘Affordable Housing’

The changes to zoning ordinances would allow for duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes in single family zoning districts

By Megan Barth, March 26, 2024 1:12 pm

At tomorrow’s city council meeting, the City of Reno will consider rezoning single family neighborhoods in order to allow for “affordable housing” units, add exemptions for affordable housing projects, and expedite related building permit processes. The changes to zoning ordinances would allow for duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes in single family zoning districts. Multifamily dwelling units of less than 100 units would remove the conditional use permit, allowing these projects to proceed “by right” regardless of affordability. “By right” development of multi-story, multi-family residences would proceed without review by the Planning Commission or the public.

According to the agenda:

Staff Report (For Possible Action): Ordinance Introduction – Bill No.______ Case No. TXT24-00001 (Title 18 – Affordable Housing Initiatives) Ordinance amending the Reno Municipal Code Title 18, “Annexation and Land Development,” specifically in Chapter 18.03 “Use Regulations,” Section 18.03.206 “Table of Allowed Uses,” Section 18.03.302 “Residential Uses,” Chapter 18.04 “Development Standards,” Section 18.04.905 “Additional Standards for Multi-Family District,” Section 18.04.1503 “Incentives for Affordable Housing,” and Section 18.04.1504 “Density Bonus Incentives for Small Unit Sizes,” in order to expand which zoning districts duplex, triplex, and fourplex units are allowed; expand which zoning districts live/work, multi-family and single-family attached uses are allowed; amend use standards for residential uses; amend triggers for entitlements for residential uses with less than 100 units; relocate the standards for density bonuses in multi-family districts to a different section of the zoning code; add exemptions from entitlement review for affordable housing projects; add expedited building permit processes for affordable housing projects; modify the density bonuses for affordable housing projects; and to increase the density bonuses for small unit sizes; together with matters which pertain to or are necessarily connected therewith.

Back in October, the City considered a proposal (see below) from consultant Shane Phillips (he/him) who encouraged the city to changed zoning ordinances in order to provide affordable housing in areas near work centers and public transit. Within he proposal, he recommended that the City must encourage denser and more diverse housing types; should establish new zones allowing roughly 45 to 60 dwelling units per acre; legalize accessory dwelling units on residential land citywide; allow up to four units per parcel in single-family residential zones inside the McCarran Loop; and states that “Reno should be Nevada’s first by eliminating parking mandates entirely.”

Since that time, the City has held a few meetings, with the last Planning Commission meeting on February 7th which reviewed staff recommendations and redlines of the proposed zoning ordinance changes.

Alica Barber of The Barber Brief has been actively chronicling the meetings and expresses her specific concerns in her latest substack. She notes that the public has not had sufficient time or input on the many changes and redlines to the ordinances since the council has considered Phillip’s report and stresses that the public will have been informed of the various changes until the first reading of the ordinance.

Tomorrow’s meeting will be held at 10 am and the public is encouraged to comment via email, online, voicemail, Zoom, or in person.

Shane Phillips Report on L






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Megan Barth
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