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City approves Reno Iron Works building near SPCA animal shelter

By Carly Sauvageau

The Reno City Council approved Wednesday Reno Iron Works’ plan to build a manufacturing building near the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) of Northern Nevada near Spectrum and Dandini boulevards.

Jill Dobbs, the executive director of the (SPCA) of Northern Nevada, filed an appeal of the Reno Planning Commission’s approval for the Reno Iron Works plan on March 14 because the planning commission had allegedly not given proper prior notice. On April 13, council members asked Reno Iron Works and the SPCA to work together on an agreement for the building site and return in 60 days. 

Both parties returned at the May 11 city council meeting. More than 100 public comments were reported in opposition to the project with zero in favor of allowing Reno Iron Works to build at the site. At the April 13 meeting, many were concerned about the noise being distressing to the animals sheltered at the SPCA and the restricted access to walking trails.

On May 11, John Krmpotic, representing Reno Iron Works, reported that they had attempted to work with the SPCA. They had offered $100,000 for a sound wall to be built and a limit to the amount of trucks per day that would pass by the shelter. They also provided a noise study from Reno Iron Works’ previous construction sites.

Dobbs said that the study was insufficient as it was for smaller construction projects and didn’t consider animals as a factor. Dobbs also said that she had seen plans for a smaller site that would not be as intrusive to the hill where the projected construction site will be.

Upon the council’s request, Dobbs had found an alternate site – a ten-acre lot in the Reno-Tahoe Industrial Complex. She said she got the price down to meet the Reno Iron Works’ requirement. 

Reno Iron Works, however, rejected this site mainly due to the number of employees who said they would seek work elsewhere if the site were moved due to commuting, according to Krmpotic.

Dobbs said that the site would be better in a more industrial area. Councilmember Devon Reese disagreed and said the planned area is fairly industrial. It is near Parr Boulevard. 

Reese also said that unless council wanted to designate this area public land, any building project would run into these problems concerning the SPCA. 

Despite the two parties’ efforts to come to an agreement, they could not find common ground. 

“Both parties worked hard to reach an agreement and keep this out of the council chambers again, but unfortunately we are just too far apart,” Dobbs said.

The motion to allow Reno Iron Works to continue with their building plan passed 4-3 with Mayor Hillary Schieve, Councilmember Jenny Brekhus and Councilmember Naomi Duerr in opposition. 

Neon Line District festival noise draws opposition

The Jacobs Glow Plaza and Festival Area, part of the development proposed by Colorado-based company Jacobs Entertainment, is being proposed as a concert and event venue. 

But an appeal by two downtown residents was filed against the permit that would allow “amusement or recreation outside” or “live entertainment” to be held at the Glow Plaza. 

People said they were concerned about the noise this would cause for the residents already staying and living in the downtown area. 

Council members suggested that Jacobs meet with them annually to discuss the permit.

The motion to allow a modified permit to move forward was passed 6-1 with Brekhus in opposition.

Truckee River restroom development

The "Portal of Evolution" Burning Man sculpture in downtown Reno. Image: Bob Conrad / This Is Reno.
The “Portal of Evolution” Burning Man sculpture in downtown Reno. Image: Bob Conrad / This Is Reno.

A new Portland loo restroom may be coming to the downtown’s city plaza. It is one area among three considered. The city plaza location was selected due to its high and consistent pedestrian traffic. 

A previous location next to the Portal of Evolution sculpture on the Truckee River drew numerous complaints.

According to Duerr, the people who gather at the plaza, plus it being a popular place for skateboarders, made its location preferable to the West Street or Fulton Corner locations. 

The project to put in restrooms along the Truckee River was accepted by all involved jurisdictions in 2016. 

The motion to move forward to build the restroom at the city plaza passed unanimously.

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