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Downtown Property Maintenance Standards

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901.1 Scope.

The provisions of this chapter shall govern the minimum maintenance standards for properties that are located downtown. These standards shall be in addition to all requirements within this property maintenance code.  As used in this section “downtown” means the area within Redevelopment Area One and the Downtown Police and Maintenance Special Assessment Districts.

901.2 General.

The downtown area is the center of tourism, entertainment and leisure for the City, while also existing as neighborhood and community for many residents who live within the area.  There is a constant investment made by both the public and private sector to ensure downtown remains a vibrant, attractive, safe and livable area for its residents and tourists.  All properties within this area shall be maintained at a high level of cleanliness and shall be structurally sound so as not to pose a threat to the public health, safety or welfare.

901.3 Responsibility.

The owners of the structures, properties, and the owners of businesses located within the structures shall be responsible jointly and separately for meeting the minimum standards of property maintenance as delineated in this section. Properties with multiple individual owners of individual units shall not be exempt but any association of said property will be the primary responsible party. This includes but is not limited to Home Owner Associations, Property Limited Liability Companies, Co Operatives, or other organized groups that represent or are responsible for the maintenance of the common areas of the structure.      

901.4 Signs.

All signs shall be maintained in good condition, so as to present a neat and orderly appearance without visible accumulation of dirt or appearance of being excessively weathered, torn, broken, significantly damaged or structurally unsound or where the copy can no longer be seen or legible by a person with normal eyesight from a sidewalk pedestrian point of view. EXCESSIVELY WEATHERED shall mean, including but not limited to, signs where the condition of the paint or structural material has become so deteriorated as to permit decay, excessive cracking, peeling, chalking, flaking, fading, dry rot or warping.  No sign shall have inoperative or partially inoperative illuminating or mechanical devices.

901.5 Sidewalks and Alleys.

In addition to compliance with Reno Municipal Code Chapter 12.20, no person owning, leasing, renting, having charge or control of, or occupying any property, premises or building, shall fail, refuse or neglect to remove any garbage, animal waste, debris, litter, foul smells, or obstruction including, but not limited to, weeds, snow, ice, dead vegetation, refuse or waste materials of any kind from the property, sidewalk, gutter, street, or alley abutting such property, premises or building, nor shall said persons refuse or neglect to remove the storage of personal property from the sidewalk, or alley abutting such property, premises, or building. Sidewalks or alleys abutting properties with access to said properties shall be maintained clean at all times.  It shall be the responsibility of the person owning, leasing, renting, having charge or control of, or occupying said property to sweep, wash, and clean any abutting alley, sidewalk and gutter along the front and rear respective property line.

901.6 Lighting.

All exterior walls of buildings shall provide egress illumination and minimum lighting for access ways along the exterior of the building. Such lighting shall be no less than 3 foot candles measured from the floor immediately adjacent to the exterior wall or no less than the minimum requirement standard for access ways as required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).  When there is conflict between the two requirements, the higher value requirement will apply. This lighting requirement shall also apply to open parking or vacant lots within the downtown area.

901.7 Public Trash Receptacles.

Public trash receptacles that are placed along the public right of way for the use of the public to throw away trash shall not be used by businesses.  All businesses within the downtown area shall acquire their own trash service in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 10.08 of the Reno Municipal Code.  The word “businesses” as used in this section includes any person representing, or working for, the owner of a business, to include the owner himself or herself.

901.8 Night Clubs/Bars Queue Lines.

Any and all queue lines that are formed within the public right of way shall be identified by a temporary barrier (i.e. rope, chain, or metal rails if necessary) that is removed during closed business hours.  Queue lines must be maintained along the wall of the building while maintaining a minimum three feet sidewalk clearance for ADA access.   Businesses using the public right of way for their queue lines must man the line with security personnel to ensure their customers do not create a public nuisance.  For this section, the phrase “Queue Line” shall mean any line of people waiting to enter the business or smoke outside of the business, regardless if said line is organized by business representatives or spontaneously organized by prospective clients or customers.

901.9 Vacant Buildings.

All vacant buildings located within the downtown area shall comply with this section of the property maintenance code in addition to any other laws, requirements, or regulations adopted within the City of Reno.  In addition to security requirements of Section 310, all vacant structures within downtown that are secured or boarded up for more than 12 consecutive months shall have all boarded up windows painted to look like fake windows providing the appearance of windows without the glazing.  Structures shall not have the appearance of abandoned properties within the downtown area.  Structures shall maintain the appearance of an occupied building. If a vacant structure has all glass windows in tact, this section shall not apply.   

901.10 Vestibules & Alcoves.

All vestibules or alcoves facing an alley shall have a fixed or collapsing gate, door, or similar, across the open area that is flush with the rest of the building when the business is closed.  Said gate shall remain open at all times the business is open or the structure is open to occupancy, and must be opened out into the alley for fire egress. 

All businesses containing entrances with alcoves or vestibules, whether facing the alley or street, unless patrolled by security or have security on site, shall post in a conspicuous area a sign informing the public of the prohibition of sitting or lying in doorways per RMC 8.12 and explaining that a violation of that section is subject to a misdemeanor citation. Said signage must also be visible at night.   

901.11 Pigeon or Any Fowl Nuisances.

The exterior of all buildings shall show no signs of the accumulation of pigeon or fowl excrement, nesting materials, pigeon carcasses and other pigeon related detritus that would constitute a Pigeon or fowl Nuisance, as defined herein.

A pigeon or fowl nuisance is defined as the excessive congregation of pigeons at a location when such congregation of pigeons results in the accumulation of pigeon or other fowl droppings or other pigeon related waste. In addition, the accumulation of pigeon excrement, nesting materials, pigeon carcasses and other pigeon related detritus that may be damaging to the property, pose a threat to public health and welfare or contribute to polluted storm water runoff to the river.

Pigeon or fowl proofing shall be deemed as acceptable actions for addressing pigeon nuisances.  This may include but is not limited to a) construction to prevent the ingress of pigeons or other fowl into or under buildings or structures from the exterior; b) steps to prevent the congregation of pigeons in a given location including the addition of spikes or other materials to prevent roosting; c) the removal or covering of sources of food for pigeons or other fowl.

901.12 Landscaping Maintenance.

All landscape areas and plant materials on private property must be maintained in a vigorous and healthy condition, free of weeds and litter. This maintenance shall include weeding, watering, fertilizing, pruning, mowing, edging, mulching and other needed maintenance, in accordance with generally accepted horticultural practices. This shall including using pruning standards accepted by the International Society of Arboriculture and/or the National Arborist Association. Any damaged or dead plant must be replaced or repaired within 30 days. If the season of the year makes such repair or replacement impractical, the property owner shall schedule an appropriate time for the accomplishment of this work with the code official. Landscape areas shall include all planters, shrubs, trees, grass, and approved landscape areas approved upon development or certificate of occupancy and as defined in Title 18 or the “Land Development Code” of the RMC.

901.13 Property Maintenance Hours.

Properties and businesses located within 150 feet of residential use properties shall ensure to conduct regular ongoing property maintenance activities so as not to disturb residents during the hours of 11:00pm and 6:00am from Sunday evening through Friday morning.

Residential use is defined as single family or condominium residence, and shall not include hotel or motel uses. Measurement shall be considered from property line to property line.

Property maintenance and business activities are specific to activities such as, deliveries, leaf blowing, parking lot sweeping, property cleaning, and other similar activities.  It shall not include any emergency situations or business conducted with a customer.  

901.14 Violations.

Any violation of this Chapter (9) of the Downtown Property Maintenance Standards shall be deemed a public nuisance and as such is subject to the remedies within Chapters 1.05 and 8.22 of the Reno Municipal Code.