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City explores revisions to adult business ordinances

Post Date:04/12/2019 4:30 PM

Update April 12, 2019

On April 24, 2019, the Reno City Council is scheduled to consider amendments to Reno Municipal Code (RMC) Titles 4, 5, 8, and 18 related to the regulation of adult businesses, including:

The public hearing on the proposed ordinance amendments will occur at the City Council’s regularly scheduled meeting on April 24, 2019. The meeting begins at 10 a.m. and will be held at Reno City Hall in Council Chambers.

In accordance with Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) 237.090, a business impact statement was prepared to address whether the proposed amendments to Titles 4, 5, and 8 impose a direct and significant economic burden upon business or directly restrict the formation, operation, or expansion of a business. Copies of the business impact statement are also available at the Reno City Clerk’s Office.

If the City Council refers the proposed amendments to a second reading, potential adoption of the revised ordinances is scheduled for May 8, 2019 at the regularly scheduled City Council meeting.

Update August 28, 2018

The City of Reno is seeking public input on the latest draft ordinances that detail proposed changes related to the regulation of adult businesses, including:

Here’s how to learn more about the proposed changes and provide your input:

  • Attend the public workshop on Thursday, September 13, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. at Reno City Hall in Council Chambers (1 East First Street, Reno). During the workshop, City staff will review the proposed changes to Titles 4, 5, 8, and 18 during a short presentation. Attendees will then have the opportunity to provide their input, either verbally or in writing.
  • Submit your comments electronically through the adult business ordinance online comment form. The form will be available through Friday, October 5, 2018. 
The City of Reno is also opening the comment period for the business impact statement (BIS) process. In addition to the workshop and online comment form, impacted business owners, trade organizations, and other stakeholders are also encouraged to send any comments or supplemental information regarding the proposed amendments to Titles 4, 5, and 8 in writing to the Business License Division by 5:00 PM on Friday, October 5, 2018 at The feedback received on these three titles of Reno Municipal Code will be used to develop a BIS, which summarizes the input and analyzes the the effects of the proposed changes.

Proposed changes to Title 18 (the Land Development Code) are not statutorily included as part of the BIS process. Feedback collected at the public workshop or through the online comment form related to Title 18 will be shared with the Reno Planning Commission when the draft ordinance is reviewed and discussed at a future public hearing, expected later this fall.

Update August 15, 2018

The Reno City Council is scheduled to discuss and provide potential direction to staff regarding draft ordinances related to the regulation of adult businesses at its regularly scheduled Council meeting on Wednesday, August 22, 2018. The draft ordinances specifically relate to Reno Municipal Code Titles 4, 5, and 8. The City Council meeting begins at 10 a.m. and will be held in Council Chambers at Reno City Hall (1 E. First Street). The August 22 agenda and draft ordinances are available online.

The purpose of the scheduled presentation is to have an initial discussion on proposed amendments related to enhanced operational regulations of adult businesses. Below is a detailed summary of the proposed modifications:

Title 4: Business License Code - Proposed Amendments
The proposed amendments to Title 4 include adding a new Chapter 4.07 entitled “adult business.” This new chapter addresses general business license application, issuance, and appeal procedures and regulations for adult interactive cabaret performers and adult bookstores/theaters. 
Title 5: Privileged Licenses, Permits and Franchises - Proposed Amendments
The proposed amendments to Title 5 include revisions to Chapters 5.05, 5.06, and 5.07. 
Chapter 5.05 entitled “Licenses Generally,” seeks to clarify work card application, issuance, and appeal procedures and regulations of general and adult interactive cabaret work card requirements. One notable proposed amendment is to clarify the requirement that the regulations set forth for adult interactive cabaret performer work cards apply to all adult interactive cabaret employees and independent contractors conducting business as performers at adult interactive cabarets. 
Chapter 5.06 entitled “Adult Interactive Cabarets,” seeks to clarify, amend, and/or add regulations regarding: purpose and findings, definitions, adult interactive cabaret license, separation of licenses, adult interactive cabaret operation, electronic video monitoring, policies and procedures, and responsibility of licensee. One notable proposed amendment denies any person including an employee or performer under the age of 21 to be admitted to or allowed to remain on the premises of an adult interactive cabaret where alcohol is provided, served, sold, or consumed.
Chapter 5.07 entitled “Alcoholic Beverages” seeks to clarify and amend definitions and the division and the separate nature of adult interactive cabarets and alcohol-licensed operations. 
Title 8: Public Peace, Safety and Morals - Proposed Amendments
The proposed amendments to Chapter 8.21, include repealing RMC Sections 8.21.010-8.21.110, related to adult interactive cabarets. Many of these regulations are integrated into the proposed amendments to RMC Sections 5.05 and 5.06.  

The presentation before Council on August 22 will not discuss proposed amendments to the City’s Land Development Code, Title 18, including regulations related to the location, alcohol use, or signage requirements of adult businesses, as the City Council has previously provided direction on these matters. 

During the agenda item on August 22, Council will not be voting on the proposed amendments but may provide additional direction to staff. 

Following next week’s City Council meeting and discussion, the City is planning a public workshop to seek feedback on all proposed draft ordinances for RMC Titles 4, 5, 8, and 18. Interested stakeholders are encouraged to save the date for Thursday, September 13, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. at Reno City Hall.




Update August 2017 

The City of Reno is exploring changes to the Reno Municipal Code (“RMC”) related to adult businesses and is beginning a period of public outreach to seek feedback on the proposed changes.

The draft ordinances with proposed changes to Title 4: Business License; Title 5: Privileged License; Title 8: Public Peace, Safety and Morals; and Title 18: Zoning (Land Development Code) of the RMC are available for public review.

In summary, the revisions seek to clarify and move provisions out of RMC Title 8 and into RMC Titles 4 and 5 as related to the licensing and associated regulation of adult businesses, specifically adult interactive cabarets and adult bookstores. Under RMC Title 18, the proposed changes generally impose refined locational, operational, and sign regulation of adult businesses and stricter alcohol regulation for those adult businesses in non-conforming zoning locations.  

Community Feedback and Public Meetings

The City Council presentation about the proposed adult business ordinance is being rescheduled to Wednesday, September 13, 2017. The topic is anticipated to be heard by the Reno City Council at 6 p.m. (no earlier than 6 p.m.) at Reno City Hall in Council Chambers on the 1st floor. The City Council will not be voting on any amendments to the ordinance at this meeting, but they will be receiving a staff presentation and an update on public outreach conducted and will be asked to provide direction on the proposed ordinance.

In May and June 2017, the City of Reno introduced the proposed changes at a series of public meetings to gather feedback from the community. The City held a stakeholder meeting on June 22, presented to the five Neighborhood Advisory Boards (NABs), and met with other community groups about the proposed changes.

If you would like to be added to the distribution list on this topic, please send your email address to Community Liaison Calli Wilsey at

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