Community meeting

Brekhus Accused of Blocking Jacobs’ Access to Community Meeting (Updated)

By Carly Sauvageau

Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve said Wednesday that she wants the community and Jacobs Entertainment to work together on plans to redevelop much of the downtown west. The call for cooperation was part of the Reno City Council’s review of driveway abandonment requests that are part of the Neon Line District plans Jacobs proposed at a Jan. 12 city council meeting.

Council members approved the surrenders at West Second Street and the Church Lane right-of-way and at Ralston and West Fifth Street by 6 votes to 1.

Council member Jenny Brekhus was the only one not to vote.

During a deliberation on the abandonment of West Second Street and Church Lane, Council Member Neoma Jardon asked Jacobs Entertainment lawyer Garrett Gordon if they had tried to give a presentation at Ward 1 Neighborhood Advisory Board (NAB), which is represented by Brekhus, for one of Neon Line’s development plans.

Jardon said Jacobs’ reps presented to his Ward 5 NAB and committed to coming back quarterly with updates.

Gordon, who said he lives in Ward 1, told council members he tried to report to the Ward 1 NAB. He said he received an email from Brekhus’ liaison saying he had was declined and removed from the NAB meeting agenda by Brekhus.

“I don’t think she was involved in the process and it appears, unfortunately, that she continues to be uninvolved in a project that is being built in her neighborhood.”

“It’s frustrating,” Gordon said. “She refuses to meet us. She refuses to let me go to her NAB and give presentations and get feedback from her NAB members. And she refuses to provide any input on this development other than in this venue on a Zoom call or a town council meeting or in the papers… It’s really frustrating working in your neighborhood when you refuse to meet or engage in any way.

Council member Devon Reese expressed disappointment and said he would seek legal advice on a council member’s ability to refuse a developer to attend an NAB meeting in his ward.

Board Member Jenny Brekhus.

During the meeting, Brekhus did not respond to Gordon’s accusations, but followed up with This Is Reno to clarify details of the NAB presentations.

Representatives from Jacobs Entertainment presented the abandonment of West Second Street and Church Lane ROW at the October 11 meeting of Ward 1 NAB.

Brekhus said Gordon was denied the opportunity to present details of Neon Line’s development at the Nov. 8 NAB meeting because they “requested AFTER the ordinance on the agreement of development to present. It was not for contribution purposes, as it is clear that the Council had acted. »

City Council members approved the Jacobs Development Agreement Ordinance at its Oct. 13 meeting.

“Whenever they have items in the process of approval – administrative, planning commission or council – they are and will be in the Development Projects section of the agenda [for the Ward 1 NAB]”Brekhus said.

In her comments at Wednesday’s board meeting, Brekhus said she was concerned the promoter was securing dropouts and making progress on the development of the land. She cited Jacobs’ withdrawal of a provisional map for 63 condominium units on Arlington Avenue on Tuesday, a day after representatives from the developer touted the plans at a town hall meeting.

Gordon said the card was pulled because the developer changed plans from condos to apartments, which don’t require the same city approvals.

“I don’t see the value in dropping this now based on finding harm,” Brekhus said. “I see…a pattern of harm from this plaintiff in this area of ​​removing about 600 residential units without rebuilding them,” Brekhus said, referring to motel demolitions by Jacobs Entertainment with no signs of construction in the area. vacant lots.

Duerr agreed that the demolitions caused damage.

“I don’t think demonstration permits should happen in the absence of building permits where we end up with these big empty blocks,” Duerr said.

Brekhus requested changes to the development agreement with JacobsEntertainment requiring the developer to commit to developing plot development plans within a specific timeframe in exchange for abandoning the lanes. If the plans did not materialize within the required time frame, the lanes could revert to city control, she said.

Rendering of the Arlington Condos project, included with the preliminary architectural plans submitted to the City of Reno.
A rendering of condos offered by Jacobs Entertainment for Arlington Avenue and Second Street. The developer withdrew the provisional map of the project and decided to build it into apartments instead.

“How about a recovery for the public interest if [Jacobs’] the projects do not materialize? asked Brekhus.

Gordon said the lane abandonments were necessary to be able to build structures that would meet the required minimum building density of 45 units per acre.

“We couldn’t fit a density of 45 units on the small lots as they currently exist…We need more space in order to comply with [zoning requirements]”, Gordon said.

Usually, the council member representing the ward in which the action is taking place makes a motion of approval. Brekhus declined to make the motion saying if she did it would be to deny the dropouts.

Reese, as a member of the general council, instead moved to approve the lane abandonments.

“I don’t think now is the time to question the development agreement,” Reese said before casting his vote. “If there were things that should have been in the development agreement that weren’t, I think the Ward 1 council member should have offered them. I don’t think she did that. I don’t think she was involved in the process and it seems, unfortunately, that she continues to be uninvolved in a project that is being built in her neighborhood. »

Other Board Business

Public comments focus on homelessness and COVID testing

A common topic in the general public’s comments from the meeting was Reno’s homeless population. Members of the public have asked the council to reopen the Record Street shelter as

Other huts fill up during the harsh winter months.

Some have expressed concern for homeless women who must choose between being harassed in shelters and risking their lives sleeping on the streets. The Nevada Cares Campus has limited space for women, and other shelters that accept women are often full.

Another citizen asked that free COVID tests, as well as homeless shelters, be made more accessible to people with disabilities. They said many free COVID testing centers are drive-in and some people with disabilities are unable to get to the testing center, especially when buses aren’t running.

Urban developments

The 7th Editions of the General Administrative Manual (GAM) of the Regional Road Impact Charge and the Capital Improvement Plan (PIC) of the Regional Road Impact Charge have been adopted by the City Council and the Regional Transportation Commission .

Impact fees are fees paid to developers that help raise funds to support public infrastructure.

The 7th editions of these policies included updates to the list of CIP projects, greater growth in the Reno area north of Interstate 80, and an update to the appeals process for tollers.

There are also plans to replace sewer lining in Swope, Akard, Eleventh Street and Van Ness and Ellendale. A new lift station will be installed at the intersection of Lear and Moya to accommodate existing water flows as well as planned development of the North Valleys. The current lifting station is operating at its maximum capacity.

Reno ReLEAF Program Receives $10,000 Donation

A donation from Kinder Morgan, one of North America’s largest energy infrastructure companies, advanced the ReLEAF program in planting trees in downtown Reno. The new trees will be planted near Biggest Little Dog Park and Locomotion Plaza.

Update: This story has been updated to include follow-up material and comments from Jenny Brekhus provided after the initial publication.