The City received Honorable Mention from Walk Friendly Communities for one of the best walk-firendly communities in the Nation. The Walk Friendly Communities, a program sponored by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, recognized the City as 'Honorable Mention' for community involvement and citizen participation for the Comprehensive Plan update. "The Comprehensive Plan shows strong commitment to walkability by having an entire chapter devoted to connectivity and Complete Streets," quoted from the community highlights. The City also was recognized for excellent guideline for traffic calming. This gives the City national acknowledgement that the city is working hard towards a walk-friendly community.
The staff is working on completing the Public Facilities Element and Chapter 7 of the Comprehensive Plan - Concureency in Development. It is anticipated that this summer will be public comment on these 2 elements of the City's Comprehensive Plan. These are the last 2 sections to be reviewed by the Planning Commission, City Council and public before adoption of the entire plan including the updated Comprehensive Plan, Conservation Element, Public Facilities Element and Population Element.
On January 24, 201, a workshop was held with City Council on Chapter 4: A Livable City. This Chapter of the Comprehensive Plan Update has 5 Livability Factors: Population and Economic Vitality; Neighborhoods and Housing; Parks, Special Events and Art and Culture; Built Environment and Visual Character and Environment and Cultural Resources. The workshop covered population projections, employment statistics, summary of housing statistics, age of buildings, summary of parks/special events and built environment. The PowerPoint presentation is posted on the website.
Though it has been a while since the news has been updated, the staff has been working on the Comprehensive Plan. In May, we had a workshop with the City Council and a Community Workshop on Chapter 5: A Connected City. The City Council directed staff to include in the Comprehensive Plan a map identifying the street being proposed as potential Complete Streets. Working with Public Works, we have a draft Complete Streets Map. There will now be three maps in the Connected City Chapter which are Street Classification Map, Trails Map and Complete Streets Map. In July, staff had a workshop with the Planning Commission on Chapter 4: A Livable City. We anticipate having the workshop on this chapter with City Council in December and January 2011 for the Community Workshop.
In September, staff met with some of the development community to address their concerns about the new Land Use Map. The discussion topics covered converting the existing residential densities to the new comparable land use categories. Staff has compared the existing zoning to the new land use categories, making sure they are consistent. There are currently 70 land use categories and propose to reduce to 14 land use categories along with the 6 Transit Oriented Development (TOD) land use categories making a total of 20 new land use categories. The last item of discussion was on the Master Plan Amendment Process. The main concern centered on the handling of planned developments. Staff explained that currently changing land uses either within a planned development or other parts of the City require a Master Plan Amendment. There is no proposed change in this process. The shuffling of land uses within planned developments will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to determine if a Master Plan Amendment is required.
Lastly, staff is working on the last chapter, Chapter 7: Concurrency in Development. As part of this chapter, staff is also working on updating the Public Facilities Element. The currently adopted Public Facilities Element is outdated, since it evaluated the impacts on the City expanding into Spanish Springs. Therefore, a new Public Facilities Element is being prepared in conjunction with Chapter 7. Workshops on these 2 Comprehensive Plan components are anticipated to be early next year. We anticipate that the entire Comprehensive Plan, Public Facilities Element and Conservation Element will be adopted in late Spring or early Summer 2011.
Staff held a workshop on the Land Use Plan incorporating the new 14 land use categories on February 4, 2010. The workshop was attended by over 25 people who provided comments on Chapter 3: A Balanced Land Use Pattern and the draft Land Use Plan. Staff is working on final drafts of Chapter 1: Plan Overview, Chapter 2: Vision Statement and Policy Framework, Chapter 3: A Balanced Land Use Pattern and Chapter 6: A Sustainable City. As part of finishing the last 3 chapters, staff is meeting with the other city departments. In June, staff anticipates to hold workshops with the community and Planning Commission on Chapter 4: A Livable City and City Council in July.
There will be a workshop with City Council on May 24, 2010 on Chapter 5 - A Connected City. The community workshop is scheduled for May 26, 2010 on Chapter 5 - A Connected City scheduled at 3 pm located in CityWorks conference room 1 at 1675 E. Prater Way, Suite 107.
On January 25, 2010, staff had a workshop with the City Council on Chapter 6 - A Sustainable City. Staff has been working on the Land Use Plan. After the workshops, it was decided that the residential categories would not have the overlap in densities and smaller ranges. The land use categories are being reduced from the current 70 categories to 14 new land use categories. This required the draft Land Use Map to be remapped with the new 14 categories. There will be a community workshop on this version of the draft Land Use Map on February 4, 2010.
Staff is in the process of reviewing the comments submitted on the Chapter 3 - A Balanced Land Use Pattern and from the workshops with the Planning Commission and City Council. Staff anticipates to have a follow up workshop on the Land Use Plan and Chapter 3 in January 2010. On November 5, 2009, the staff is having a workshop with the Planning Commission on Chapter 6 - A Sustainable City and on November 18, 2009 is the Community Workshop on Chapter 6.
Staff had the first workshop on the Policy Frameworks to review the proposed Land Use Map, Goals and Policies and new Land Use Categories on September 2, 2009. Staff is proposing to reduce the number of land use categories from nearly 50 to 13 categories. For details refer to the linked documents including the draft Land Use Plan located on the home page of The Sparks Plan. As part of the review of the Land Use Plan for the Comprehensive Plan, staff is accepting applications for master plan amendments to the proposed land uses on the draft Land Use Map. The deadline is October 21, 2009. Staff will review the master plan amendments and prepare a staff report to be presented to the Planning Commission in December. The Planning Commission will review the master amendments in a public hearing recommending to staff if the proposed request should be incorporated into the final Land Use Map.
In December 2008 due to budgetary reasons, the City of Sparks terminated the contract with the consultants assisting the Planning Staff with updating the Master Plan. In January 2009, the Planning Staff took over the Master Plan update. Staff has spent the last half year reviewing the materials from the consultant and outcomes of the Community Workshops. Staff wanted a more integrated plan rather than having the traditional master plan of separate elements. Staff decided on a new format which incorporates the input from the community workshops and combines the many elements of the master plan into one document called the Comprehensive Plan. The Comprehensive Plan is organized into five topics or themes referred to as the Policy Framework. The Comprehensive Plan incorporates the goals and policies from each of the master plan elements into the appropriate Policy Framework. The intent is to create a holistic plan rather than a collection of individual elements. In April 2009, a community workshop was held unveiling the new Comprehensive Plan format. Since April, the staff has been working on writing the chapters of the Comprehensive Plan.
As each of the 5 Policy Frameworks is completed, staff will be having community workshops. It is anticipated there will be community workshops through the Fall of 2009. Watch for notice of the Workshops on the City's website.
For the details of plan development and organization, refer to the Comprehensive Plan Presentation.
In April 2007, Sparks City Council approved a contract to proceed with the update the City's Master Plan. This scope of work includes a comprehensive community visioning process through which the framework of the entire Master Plan could be developed. To date, this effort has included working closely with as wide a cross-section of the Sparks community as possible to obtain a broad-based vision for the future of the City. These groups include the Master Plan Steering Committee (appointed by City Council in June 2007), and through the week long Community Visioning Workshop conducted in September 2007, the entire Sparks Community. This outreach has resulted in the attached Executive Summary of the Sparks Plan. The first draft of this document, developed through the community visioning process, has been refined through discussions with the Steering Committee, the Technical Review Team, Planning Commission, and City Council. The attached draft lays out the conceptual framework for each potential component of the master plan, including a selection of the possible goals and objectives for each plan area. The origin of each of the goals and objectives outlined in this Executive Summary can be traced to the community vision, and each list will be tested, proven out, added to or removed from as necessary through the development of their respective master plan components.
April 10, 2008
On February 21, 2008, the Executive Summary of the Sparks Plan was presented to the Sparks Planning Commission. At the meeting, the commission unanimously endorsed the Executive Summary as the conceptual framework for the master plan and forwarded a recommendation of endorsement to the Sparks City Council. On March 17, 2008, the City Council also endorsed the Executive Summary. Production of the actual plan elements will now proceed for three parts of the master plan -- the Conservation Plan, the Public Services and Facilities Plan, and the Land Use Plan. Each of these three elements will contain action plans, funding strategies, and supporting analysis to achieve the respective element goals and objectives developed through the community visioning process that was conducted last year. Completion of these three plan elements is expected by the end of 2008.