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Commissioners to consider changes to short term rental ordinance


The Washoe Board of County Commissioners next week will consider a handful of changes to the county’s short term rental ordinance. The changes were requested by commissioners in January following a presentation by county staff about the initial months of the STR ordinance’s enforcement. 

At that meeting county staff said dozens of complaints had been filed against STR owners and many fines had been levied, but not yet collected. Complaints ranged from excessive noise and partying to overflowing trash and parking issues. 

The changes proposed are intended to streamline the application process and update occupancy and parking details, while also addressing some of the complaints. 

In multi-family or condo unit developments without assigned parking, STRs would no longer be able to count overflow parking spaces in their total parking available. 

Changes would also include an update to how occupancy is calculated, with two people allowed per legally permitted bedroom and one additional person per 200 square feet of other living space. 

For STRs that accommodate 20 or more people, a special use permit approved by the Planning Commission would be required. 

In Incline Village, where overflowing trash attracts bears, STRs that have two confirmed violations of the trash standards would be required to install a bear box.

Officials hope that by simplifying the application process and clarifying some of the occupancy and parking details, more STR owners will secure permits as legally required. It’s estimated that hundreds of STRs in the Tahoe basin have continued to operate without permits. 

Other agenda items

Commissioners are scheduled to hear a presentation on the development and construction at the Nevada Care Campus homeless shelter. As part of the presentation they’ll consider putting forward at a future meeting a purchase agreement for a portion of the property for Reno Housing Authority. 

A row of tents at the Nevada Cares Campus safe camp area is available for people to move into after an intake process by Karma Box Project. Video Still: Abby Ocampo / This Is Reno

Plans for RHA-operated transitional housing have been discussed since before the campus’s opening nearly a year ago, but no plans have been moved forward. 

A bid for additional development at the safe camp site within the Cares campus is also up for approval. The nearly $3.8 million project would create a long-term safe campsite complete with restrooms, shade structures, a dog kennel and multi-purpose building. The long-term site would replace the existing temporary safe camp that opened in June 2021. 

Commissioners will have the first reading for an ordinance permitting a two-year extension of a development agreement with Lansing Development for Prado Ranch North in Lemmon Valley. 

A tentative map for the 490-lot subdivision was initially approved in 2018, but a final map for the project has yet to be submitted. The developer said they cannot move forward until the alignment of Lemmon Drive is complete and the base flood elevation of Swan Lake is revised. 

After the first reading a public hearing will be held, followed by a second reading and possible adoption of the ordinance.

Kristen Hackbarth
Kristen Hackbarth
Kristen Hackbarth is a freelance editor and communications professional with more than 20 years’ experience working in marketing, public relations and communications in northern Nevada. Kristen graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a degree in photography and minor in journalism and has a Master of Science in Management and Leadership. She also serves as director of communications for Nevada Cancer Coalition, a statewide nonprofit. Though she now lives in Atlanta, she is a Nevadan for life and uses her three-hour time advantage to get a jump on the morning’s news.