Reno-Area Upzoning Stirs Concern Among Residents

A county plan to allow a zoning change that slightly increases allowable density in unincorporated parts of Washoe County is drawing criticism from locals.

1 minute read

March 3, 2022, 9:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Downtown Reno

Prayitno / Downtown Reno

Reno-area residents are pushing back against a county plan to loosen zoning restrictions. As Ben Margiott reports, "County staff are proposing to create a new zoning category in four neighborhoods that would allow up to 2 units per acre, with the goal of encouraging 'development at higher densities where appropriate.'" 

Property owners in the area can already request a variance of up to three housing units per acre, but residents still worry about the new upzoning rule changing the rural character of the area." Some expressed concern that the zoning change could open the door for developers to push for even higher density and strain the area's infrastructure and resources. 

Julee Olander, a planner with Washoe County, said the proposed change simply gives property owners another zoning option and that it corresponds with the county's vision to provide 'a range of housing opportunities.'" 

Planetizen will continue to cover the hotly debated topic of zoning reform as states and local jurisdictions find the balance between resident concerns and housing affordability.

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