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City approves map for Pinnacles housing project
by Garrett E. Valenzuela
Oct 03, 2013 | 1244 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Sparks Planning Commission approved phase 2 of a residential housing project near the intersection of Disc Drive and Sparks Boulevard, and it approved changes to the Sparks Municipal Code on Thursday evening.
The Sparks Planning Commission approved phase 2 of a residential housing project near the intersection of Disc Drive and Sparks Boulevard, and it approved changes to the Sparks Municipal Code on Thursday evening.
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The Sparks Planning Commission approved a tentative map Thursday evening for Phase 2 of The Pinnacles, a 124-lot single family residential development located near the intersection of Mesa Meadows Drive and El Cap Court in Sparks.

The tentative map allows a residential subdivision for 42 lots, ranging in size between 7,402 square feet to 20,702 square feet with an average of 9,977 square feet. The approval also requires the home builder to submit master building plans in conformance with the Kiley Ranch Southern Division Handbook and the city’s Design Standards Manual.

“This is a review of an expired tentative map,” Senior Planner Tim Thompson said. “In reviewing the application, staff could not identify any significant changes or concerns regarding the project as compared to the previous approval (2004). We kept the same essential conditions with the idea of not trying to reinvent the wheel with the application.”

The Sparks Planning Commission made amendments to two sections of the Sparks Municipal Code and it added a new section concerning administrative adjustment in zoning districts.

Sections 20.050 on Definitions and 20.070.020 on Minor Deviations were amended and a new section was added for Major Deviations. Currently, minor deviations are only for adjustments of location and/or dimensions of buildings, parking areas and internal roadways that do not change the ingress or egress to the site or exceed the density, according to City of Sparks Senior Planner Karen Melby.

The ‘minor deviation’ amendment allows administrative adjustment of up to 10 percent and applies to any regulation that is capable of being counted or measured, except for signs and parking. The minor deviation will cost administrators $120.

The ‘major deviation’ allows adjustments of up to 50 percent for such quantitative requirements and it will be processed similar to a Special Use Permit and will go to the Planning Commission for approval or denial. If an applicant requests a major deviation for more than one standard, separate applications must be submitted along with a deposit of $1,250.

“The major deviation is a new discretionary process intended to facilitate development by providing an opportunity for applicants to employ creative approaches to design challenges, especially in older areas of the city where development standards may be outdated or unnecessarily restrictive,” Melby said. “The review process could result in less predictability and more judgment on the part of staff to assess the cumulative impacts on the neighborhood.”

The Sparks Planning Commission also approved and amended Title 20.43 of the Sparks Municipal Code, changing the requirements for approved building permits using an accessory building. The code now requires an accessory building when exceeding roof space of 200 square feet redacted from its original 120 square feet, according to Senior Planner Jim Rundle.

Rundle said the amendment will “establish consistency between the Building and Zoning codes” and will align better with the public’s idea of an accessory building.

“Staff’s experience is that citizens consider a carport something other than an accessory structure,” Rundle said. “A carport, however, meets the definition of an accessory building. Staff believes the amendment will provide greater clarity and consistency within the Sparks Municipal Code.”

The code amendment remains consistent with the International Business Code which also adopted the change from 120 to 200 square feet.
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