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The week ahead: Neon Line community meeting details, Arlington condos & more (commentary)


The Barber Brief is an independent e-newsletter and blog written by Dr. Alicia Barber on the Substack platform. It is reposted by This Is Reno with her permission.

By Alicia Barber

I hope everyone’s year is off to a good start! I’ve just realized that today marks exactly one year since I published my very first Barber Brief, on January 8, 2021. I’ve produced 27 issues since then, an average of one every two weeks or so, and I’m delighted to say that today I have more than 1100 subscribers, with some posts reaching 4,000+ views.

So I just want to offer my heartfelt thanks to all of you who have taken the time to read my updates and analysis, who have sent kind thoughts, questions, and ideas my way, and who have offered your financial support so I can continue to keep this little venture free & accessible to all. I’m especially gratified if my Briefs have inspired you to become more involved with matters of development in our city, adding your important voice to the conversation as we strive to make the community we share ever more appealing, functional, and welcoming to everyone in it.

This Brief previews some important items coming up next week. And first up is the now-virtual community meeting about Jacobs Entertainment’s “Neon Line.”

January 10: Neon Line Meeting now VIRTUAL only

This past week, the City decided to move the January 10 Neon Line District meeting I discussed last week from a hybrid in-person/virtual meeting to entirely virtual. The City’s announcement about that plus info on how to register can be found here. I wrote to Jeff Limpert, the City’s Revitalization Manager, for some clarification of how the meeting will be set up in order to try to preserve as much interactivity and dialogue as possible, and I want to thank him for responding in such detail.

First off, he said, “We have spent a significant amount of time the last three days to make sure we are developing a good public process while keeping the public safe under the circumstances and honoring the initial intent of the meeting,” and listed a few additional considerations they have added:

  1. Working with SoSu to offer a live broadcast as an additional option via YouTube to help reduce technology concerns
  2. Assigning staff members to monitor and manage public feedback in the Zoom and YouTube chat rooms; to assist the facilitator in gathering and grouping chat room questions; to assist chat room monitors in gathering and sharing questions; and to take care of IT issues.

Mr. Limpert then responded to each of my questions. Read more.

Affordable or workforce housing on Jacobs land?

On a related note, in a Reno Gazette-Journal article posted online yesterday (January 7) (after This is Renoteased some kind of imminent announcement), Jeff Jacobs was given a public platform for his musings on how workforce and/or affordable housing might possibly be built on some of his land. Reporter Jason Hidalgo only quotes Mr. Jacobs and Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve, “who Jacobs consulted with while crafting his proposal,” so there’s clearly some coordinated PR/political strategizing at play here, but housing sounds good, so let’s take a quick look.

January 11: Ward 1 & Ward 5 NAB meetings

The Neighborhood Advisory Boards (NABs) for Wards 1 and 5 both meet (separately, of course) on Tuesday, January 11 at 5:30 pm, and since they both include items I’ve discussed, I want to highlight a few of them. (That’s also, coincidentally, the same time I’ll be giving a free virtual talk about the Lear Theater, but if you’re heading to a NAB meeting instead, I understand!)

First, the Ward 1 agenda, available here, includes (it’s item B.3.1) a presentation about the 63-unit Arlington Condos, the one project that Jacobs Entertainment committed in its Development Agreement with the City of Reno to construct from the ground up. In contrast with most commercial or residential projects that meet area zoning requirements, condos require review by the Planning Commission to approve their “tentative maps” (since they’re dividing larger parcels into individual sellable units). The map and renderings were submitted to the City last fall, so I don’t know whether plans have changed, but this is the submitted rendering of the Arlington Condos building planned for the corner of West 2nd Street and Arlington Avenue.

Rendering of the Arlington Condos project, included with the preliminary architectural plans submitted to the City of Reno. Image: Jacobs Entertainment

Read the full Barber Brief.

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