The City of Sparks is working on a new ordinance that aims to improve and preserve the appearance of neighborhoods.
Still in development, the new ordinance is focused on promoting clean property and, in turn, maintaining property values in Sparks.
“We’re trying to beef up our ordinance to help clean up our neighborhoods and improve the appearance of our community as a whole,” said Joe Rodriquez, code enforcement officer for the City of Sparks.
“We’re going to look at using civil citations and a hearing officer, similar to what Reno is doing — most jurisdictions are going in this direction.”
According to Rodriquez, the new ordinance addresses issues such as dead, dying or no vegetation on the property, as well as vehicles, boats and RVs improperly parked on the property.
“We already have an ordinance in place, but it’s sort of outdated,” Rodriquez said. “The city council would like to see it revised and made more effective.”
If the use of civil citations and a hearing officer is approved, the new ordinance would have a bit more muscle when it comes to motivating property owners to improve the appearance of the land around their homes.
“We would go out and talk to the people and tell them of the violation on their property and explain the code to them, and from there try to work with them to get them into compliance,” Rodriquez said.
“If they refuse, then one of our steps will be that we will have the right to issue a civil citation — we’re still working on the process of that, what the fines are going to be and how many times we’re going to contact people.”
Currently, the City of Sparks is seeking public input on the development of a new property maintenance standard.
All citizens, landlords and property owners are encouraged to attend a public workshop on this topic, which will take place on Tuesday, May 6, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Sparks City Hall, Legislative Building, 431 Prater Way.