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Nuisance Ordinance Revision Log

"The Purpose of the committee is to work with Washoe County staff to prepare draft ordinances to regulate nuisances in unincorporated Washoe County and provide more efficient and effective administrative enforcement tools." washoe county website

I attended a CAB meeting awhile back where it was explained by the county rep that there are now several different agencies that handle various "nuisance" complaints with different rules, procedures and penalties. They desire a one agency approach with a standard procedure and correction process for all defined nuisances. A citizen committee has been formed, has been meeting and is drawing up a list of what they consider nuisances. If you want to influence this process, here is some information to help you get involved.

East Washoe Valley Nuisance Committee member: Cindra Smith

West Washoe Valley Nuisance Committee members: Jane Countryman 882-8579
                                                                                 Debbi Sheltra 882-4500

Washoe County Citizen Committee website

April 5th Meeting Agenda

This meeting will allow for public testimony and a review of the draft ordinance.

March 23, 2007 From the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza:

The county's nuisance ordinance will likely not be in place by the end of summer, as county officials had previously indicated. However, local representatives on the commission reviewing the ordinance are hopeful that new interest from the general public will help push it forward.

"We're four meetings down and we haven't even gotten into the specific ordinances," Washoe County Commission Citizen Committee representative Jacquie Chandler said. "What we're experiencing is not what we were told to expect."

Bob Sell, who serves as an alternate on the commission, was also frustrated with the lack of progress but found more room for optimism.

"It's become pretty clear that this will be a much longer process than we anticipated," he said. "It's not that things got bogged down, it's that things have focused more on enforcement, rather than defining what a nuisance is first."

The citizen's commission was formed earlier this year to review proposed revisions to the county's nuisance ordinance, which is expected to include area-specific regulations for the first time. It is also considering a separate proposal to enforce a number of ordinances through county-appointed administrators, instead of the legal system.

"Some people have gotten way bogged down in the weeds on the details of enforcement ordinance... but we're progressing," county Community Development Planning Manager Bob Webb said. "One of the things the group will be talking about at the next meeting is revising time frame and setting a new goal for when they will complete their work."

The county's current one-size-fits-all ordinance has been widely criticized for applying identical standards to areas with completely different needs. Sun Valley and North Tahoe residents, for instance, may have completely different standards when it comes to regulations on animals, the number of parked vehicles in one's yard or real-estate signage.

Though Sell and Chandler both questioned the decision to address the enforcement issue before deciding what should be enforced, they agreed the best thing Incline Village and Crystal Bay residents could do now is to create a complete package of ordinances for the North Shore that they could present to the commission as a finished product.

Incline resident Andrew Whyman tried to kick-start that process with a pair of community meetings held in Incline Village on Wednesday. Though part of the purpose of the meeting was to give residents an opportunity to voice their opinions about what the new ordinance should regulate, Whyman cautioned that venting without organization was unlikely to give people what they wanted.

"Some people have an issue with noise, some with light pollution, some with signs and some with cars," Whyman said. "One of the reasons why I wanted to get people together is that simply submitting your gripe isn't going to get us very far."

Incline resident Paul Guttman said that the task may be less daunting than it might appear at first, since the village could simply adapt language already in place in similar communities, such as Mammoth Lakes.

By end of the meetings there was a consensus that the issue would best be pursued by through the local Citizen's Advisory Board, which has scheduled a discussion of the ordinance for its next meeting on April 4.

"The CAB's function is be the liaison between the community and the Washoe County commissioners, so an issue like this - where community input is vital - is exactly the sort of thing that we've been entrusted with," Incline Village-Crystal Bay CAB chairman Rick Jones said.