Reno City Council accepted 2016 Urban Land Institute report |

Reno City Council accepted 2016 Urban Land Institute report

Special to NNBW

Reno City Council unanimously approved to accept the 2016 Urban Land Institute (ULI) Advisory Services Panel Report on the Virginia Street Corridor Study. The City of Reno, along with the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) as co-sponsor, hosted a panel of six experts and three staff from ULI in April 2016. ULI is a nonprofit research and education organization, which provides technical assistance on urban issues to industry leaders and policy makers in the United States.

From the Staff Report, below is a summary of those recommendations taken from the final document:

1.Link market realities to a long-term strategic vision.

· Understand and react appropriately to the market forces driving the Reno economy.

· Hone in on a branding strategy that focuses on the outdoors, arts and culture, and increasing opportunities with both the technology industry and the University.

2.Use planning and design to activate the corridor. Develop a master plan for Virginia Street that identifies Downtown as the central region and applies the following design recommendations to enable the corridor to become a celebrated street:

·Make the corridor a distinct “boulevard” with wide sidewalks, street trees, landscaped areas, good lighting, wayfinding signs, and public art;

·Emphasize the transit opportunities;

· Propose land uses to reflect the current market reality and provide meaningful solutions for the homeless, transient, and workforce housing;

·Evolve land uses to address the future, encouraging the existing predominant pattern of low-rise, separated land uses along the corridor to transform to vertically mixed use development as much as possible;

· Create a complete and connected pedestrian pathway and bicycle trail network that ties into the corridor to highlight a community where outdoor recreation is a priority;

· Increase the tree canopy in all areas so as to reduce “heat islands”; and

· Empower a focused team of individuals within the City administration responsible for implementing a robust and proactive strategic vision around economic development and quality investments for Reno to grow.

3.Enforce administrative and governance changes to facilitate implementation.

·Reorganize administrative priorities so that the Mayor and City Council operate at a high level, as a board of directors, and are tasked to oversee the new strategic vision; provide the necessary resources, services, and leadership; and hire competent and ethical staff.

·Promulgate, draft, and adopt these recommendations in the appropriate codes and guidance documents of the City such as the City’s Strategic Plan, the City’s Comprehensive Plan, the City Manager’s administrative documents, the budget, Capital Improvement Program, zoning ordinances, and Reno Municipal Code.