The Community Development Department is responsible for the physical development of the City. The six core service areas of the department include: housing and neighborhood development, planning, engineering, building and safety inspections, business licensing, and code enforcement.
Community Development Department Mission
The Community Development Department aims to improves people's lives through responsible planning, building, business inspections, and the promotion of a wide variety of housing types. The department strives to serve all of its customers in a prompt, efficient, and ethical manner.
Community Development News
Reno Looks to Accessory Dwelling Units as a Way to Support Affordable Housing
As a part of its efforts to support affordable housing, the City of Reno is developing an ordinance that could allow for accessory dwelling units (ADUs) to be built within certain locations of the city.
An ADU, also commonly referred to as a granny flat or in-law quarters, is a residential unit built on the same parcel as an existing single-family home. While ADUs may be attached or detached to the main home on the property, fully functional living facilities, including a kitchen, are included in these type of units.
“ADUs provide an opportunity to diversify affordability in a neighborhood by allowing rental units for extended families or other members of the public. ADUs not only give renters additional affordable living options in neighborhoods that are traditionally focused on single family homes, they also provide income to the homeowners,” Claudia Hanson, City of Reno Planning Manager, said.
Throughout the ReImagine Reno Master Plan public process, participants expressed support for ADUs within certain neighborhoods and under certain design standards. The Reno City Council requested that public input continue to be collected as part of the process when they initiated the ADU ordinance in October 2017.
“Across the country, ADUs come in many different forms. Whether you attend a meeting or participate in the online survey in January and February 2018, we encourage that everyone get involved and share your thoughts on this topic. As we draft our local ordinance, we want to get it right for our community,” Hanson said. “The City wants to ensure that the ordinance maintains the character of local neighborhoods, does not create a negative parking impact, and avoids intrusion on neighboring properties.”
The City went out to the community in early 2018 to gather feedback on draft ADU regulations and requirements, including design standards and locations where the units may be allowed within the city. City staff made a presentation to each of the Neighborhood Advisory Boards (NABs) and asked for community input at the meetings. An online survey also was available from Jan. 9 through Feb. 19.
Process and Meeting Details
Using the community input, City staff will draft an ordinance for consideration that would allow for accessory dwelling units within certain locations of the city and with certain standards. The draft ordinance will be presented to the Reno Planning Commission. Following a recommendation by the Planning Commission, the ordinance will then move to the Reno City Council for review and possible approval.
Please use the links below to access information for each meeting, including staff reports, draft ordinances, and additional materials. The case number and name for the ADU item on the agenda is TXT18-00002 (Accessory Dwelling Units).
- Reno Planning Commission - March 21, 2018
- Reno Planning Commission - May 30, 2018
- Historical Resources Commission - July 12, 2018
- Reno Planning Commission - September 19, 2018
- Reno City Council - To Be Determined
Potential Zoning Districts
The maps below show the potential zoning districts for ADUs that were under consideration at various points in the process. The different versions are posted for comparison purposes.
- Maps presented during community outreach (January - February 2018)
- Maps for Planning Commission meeting (May 30, 2018)
If you are interested in receiving email updates on the ADU initiative, please email Community Development Department Community Liaison Calli Wilsey at firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: This article was originally posted in December 2017. Additional information and details were added in May, July, and September 2018.