It comes to reason that the city of Sparks will be very different in 2030 than it is today. But today’s residents are getting to offer their input as to how the city will evolve in the next 14 years.
The City of Sparks recently completed the first phase of its year-long process to update the city’s comprehensive plan, with Phase II, the final phase of outreach, now underway. The IgniteSparks community outreach effort is designed to guide the city through 2030. The Phase I vision survey remains active online at IgniteSparksNV.com along with additional information on the outreach program.
“Our community has spoken loud and clear and they love their city and our community,” Mayor Geno Martini, City of Sparks said. “Overwhelmingly this community has done it right and our challenge is to maintain what we have while planning for our projected growth. This comprehensive plan will guide our City Council’s strategic plan and carry throughout all our departments. It’s a vital process and we’re thankful for everyone’s involvement to date.”
Results for the three question Phase I Vision Phase resulted in the following top responses:
Question: I love Sparks because…
Answers: Small town (15.06 percent), community (13.16 percent) and events (10.04 percent)
One respondent cited, “The city has the sophistication of the 21st century, yet maintains its ‘small town’ feeling of community and connectedness. Living in Sparks is a choice, not an accident.”
Question: My biggest concern for Sparks in the year 2030 is…
Answers: Traffic (17.17 percent), growth (15.51 percent), schools (9.14 percent) and crime (9.14 percent)
Feedback from one resident stated, “Future growth. While the potential growth is great for the city and the local economy, control of growth is very important.”
Question: My wish to make Sparks even better by 2030…
Answers: Parks (8.62 percent), community feel (8.48 percent), schools (8.48 percent) and a downtown (7.93 percent)
“Lots of new local businesses to benefit our community,” was one of the survey responses.
“The survey responses are helping to guide the planning department’s focus, especially as we begin our deeper dive questions in March,” Martini said. “We’re seeing that our residents have a lot of pride in our community, especially when it comes to our ‘small town’ feel. In Phase II we’re going to ask what that looks like to our residents as we grow over the next 14 years.”
In order to ensure the surveys reach the demographic profiles of the residents, analysis of census documentation was used. In total, the Phase I survey is on target. Survey respondents were 76 percent white and 14 percent Hispanic/Latino, with other ethnicities and mixed races making up the remainder. These results are in line with current census data for the city, demonstrating that a solid cross-section of the City’s population has been surveyed.
In March, Phase II deeper dive survey questions will be available. The effort focuses on a boots-on-the-ground approach with outreach to residents at events, through community bus tours, industrial businesses, residents at all economic and socioeconomic levels, online through the website with an interactive component and social media engagement.
Community outreach for Phase I included: Sparks City Council, Sparks Planning Commission, Sparks Citizens Advisory Committee, Champions Team Meetings, Mexican Consulate, 39 North Merchants Association, Washoe County Food Policy Council, Hometowne Christmas Parade, Grow Nevada Radio Interview, Rotary Club of Sparks Centennial Sunrise, Nevada First Toastmasters, Downtown Sparks Kiwanis Club, Sparks Sertoma Club and Boys & Girls Club.
The timeline for the comprehensive plan is as follows:
• Phase I – December 2015 – February 2016: vision survey complete
• Phase 2 – March – May 2016: deep-dive survey, continued evaluation, data collection and summarization
• Phase 3 – Summer 2016: draft plan, test draft elements with stakeholders and connectors
• Phase 4 – Fall 2016: plan presented, plan adopted and public-friendly version completeA call for residents to contribute thoughts and ideas to the process is being solicited now through spring 2016. The vision survey is active online at IgniteSparksNV.com along with additional information on the outreach program.