Anyone interested in raising bees or chickens at home, the future of feral cats or reductions in property set-backs and tree plantings along road frontages should read the city of Sparks’ proposed zoning code changes.
The first reading of the ordinance amending the code went before the City Council on Monday. Extensive time has gone into the comprehensive overhaul to “improve its user friendliness,” city officials said.
Input from stakeholder groups and workshops along with outside professional analysis were integrated into the proposed changes.
The changes are extensive, affecting such items as sidewalk widths and developers’ setbacks and parcel -size reductions.
After meetings with local residents, an urban agriculture component was added to the zoning code to allow residents to raise chickens and bees.
Among the proposed prohibited practices is keeping feral cats.
Other highlights include:
• Permitting drive-thru restaurants and light-vehicle repair in a mixed-use zoning district.
• Modifying sidewalks to four feet widths, except within Victorian Square.
• Providing flexibility to the single-family residential design standards for developers to allow for smaller parcel sizes and significantly reduced setback requirements.
• Reducing trees along frontages from one tree every 25 feet to one tree every 30 feet.
• Providing more flexibility in parking standards using tools such as joint-use parking, shared parking, off-site parking and even on-street parking in a mixed-use district.
• Changing the name of a special use permit to a conditional use permit.
The next step will be a public hearing, where the public can comment on the proposed changes before the City Council. Then it will return to the council for a final vote.