The Truckee Meadows Annual Report provides TMRPA, our partners, and residents with information to gauge the ongoing effects of growth and to assess cumulative impacts. Keep scrolling and you’ll get into the data that shapes our Truckee Meadows.
UNDERSTANDING OUR REGION
Take a look at our current population, local diversity and demographics, and what we can expect in the next 20-year projected forecast
OUR TRUCKEE MEADOWS AT A GLANCE
Units analyzed jurisdictionally and by tiers within the regional land use designations. Total historic units, and closer look over the last 5-years
HOME MEANS NEVADA
Pricing out what is costs to live in Washoe County, both rental and ownership information, our median income and vacancy rates
The 2019 Regional Strategy for Housing Affordability outlines 35 actions designed to address key regional housing issues. These issues were identified in order to adapt the way the region works on housing to better keep pace with changing needs and demands in the future. To achieve the vision that, “all residents of the Truckee Meadows have access to a continuum of safe, accessible, and affordable housing options in neighborhoods that offer access to opportunity and a high quality of life,” the region will need to collaborate. TMRPA was tasked with various actions and has created the Affordable Housing Tracker in order to aide the Region in the following initiatives:
Action Item 0.3 – Maintain a Centralized Regional Inventory of Residential Land and Assets
Action Item 4.2 – Establish a Regional Preservation Early Warning System
Reliable and readily available information about residential land and other housing assets in the region will support more efficient and impactful use of resources. To implement this, TMRPA has created an inventory of affordable housing, specifically subsidized housing projects and contract details. TMRPA compiled this information by using local and state resources. Staff has created an interactive map which will be updated on an annual basis, in which affordable housing can be spatially analyzed and assessed.
MANAGING OUR GROWTH
Land use in total built acres (gross) historically and in more recent years both jurisdictionally and by tiers, TMRPA land use regulatory project counts
TRUCKEE MEADOWS JOBS
The average employment rate, covered employment by industry in Washoe County and the difference in percent share of total covered employment since 2015
Established on May 9, 1868 and incorporated in 1903, the City of Reno covers 108 square miles and is home to over 268,000 residents. The City operates under charter with a Council–Manager form of government. Five elected Council Members represent each of the five wards, plus one at–large Council Member and the Mayor. With a total annual budget of approximately $915M, a general fund budget of approximately $288M, 17 departments and 1,496 employees, the City provides a variety of municipal services to its residents. These include police, fire, emergency dispatch, courts, parks and recreation, street and traffic maintenance, wastewater and stormwater management, planning and development, business licensing, and others. Home to the beautiful Truckee River, the City of Reno is a thriving urban center known for world–class colleges, vibrant culture, diverse outdoor activities and innovative industries. In its 2022 Annual Report, the City of Reno highlighted its efforts to implement the Truckee Meadows Regional Plan, which are summarized below.
For Population Growth, the City relied on the Consensus Forecast provided by the Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Agency (TMRPA) to support its long–term facility planning. The City waived fees and contributed funds to facilitate the construction of affordable housing units and worked with Washoe County to expand homeless services facilities.
Regarding Regional Form, the ReImagine Reno Master Plan contains the City’s Structure Plan map designates the locations of two adopted regional centers, four types of connecting corridors, three types of neighborhoods, and three types of employment areas. Each of these types of areas have policies that work in tandem with citywide policies to more clearly define the geographical locations that are infill/redevelopment priority areas for the City. In 2022, there were two annexations adopted totaling ±78.45 acres. There were also four Master Plan map amendments adopted.
For Public Facilities and Services, the City’s Concurrency Management System ensured the provision of adequate public facilities and infrastructure to support existing and planned development. Private developers were responsible for building infrastructure for their projects. The City continued to coordinate with TMRPA on public facility and service planning efforts.
In terms of the Natural Resources section, the City focused on preserving natural features and mitigating impacts. It received the SolSmart Silver Designation for promoting solar energy and achieved LEED Gold certification. The City actively participated in the development of the Natural Resources Plan and worked on a Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Master Plan.
Regional coordination was a priority for the City, collaborating with regional partners to improve infrastructure, public safety, and quality of life. The City engaged in regional initiatives such as the 2050 Regional Transportation Plan review and provided input in the Nevada Legislative Session.
Looking ahead, the City planned to focus on increasing the availability of affordable housing and participating in infrastructure and natural resources planning efforts. The development of facility plans and identifying sustainability efforts will also be priorities.
Incorporated on March 15, 1905, the City of Sparks covers 36.6 square miles and is home to over 111,000 residents. The City operates under a charter with a Council–Manager form of government. The Mayor serves as the executive branch of the government. The Mayor is separately elected at large in the City and serves as the chair of the City Council and as a voting member of the Redevelopment Agency. The Mayor presides over meetings of the City Council and has veto authority, which only may be overturned by a 4/5 vote of the Council.
In 2022, the population of Sparks, a city in Nevada, grew by 3.95% compared to the previous year, representing an increase of 4,246 persons. Between 2010 and 2020, the city experienced a growth rate of 38%, with an increase of approximately 23,900 persons. The population growth rate was highest in the 1950s and 1970s, with rates of 103% and 67% respectively. Since 1970, Sparks has seen a steady increase in population, averaging 4% annually through 2010. However, there were a few years in the early 2010s when the population decreased by 2.3% overall.
The City of Sparks is committed to addressing housing needs for all sectors of the community and promoting economic growth while ensuring financial sustainability. They receive funding from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnership programs, which support public services, infrastructure improvements, affordable housing, and homelessness initiatives. In 2022, the city received a total allocation of $652,970 of new CDBG funds, which was a decrease of $42,986 compared to the previous year. The median sales price for an existing single–family residence in Sparks in December 2022 was $495,000, representing a 3.7% decrease from the previous year.
With regard to Regional Form, the City of Sparks has implemented strategies and programs to promote the tiering of land, including an overhaul of the zoning code in 2015, which reduced barriers to development and updated permitted uses. Amendments to the zoning code have been made in subsequent years to refine the regulations and enhance opportunities for infill development. Significant developments have taken place in the Victorian Square area, including the construction of commercial space and 740 dwelling units in projects such as Fountainhouse, The Bridges, The Deco Apartments, and The Atrium Apartments. Redevelopment Area #1, which includes Victorian Square, will continue to be a high-priority area for new development and reinvestment even after the termination of the redevelopment tax increment revenues in 2023.
In terms of public services and facilities, the City of Sparks relies on the Truckee Meadows Wastewater Reclamation Facility to process wastewater, and efforts have been made to reduce groundwater infiltration into the system. The city maintains utility pipe systems for reclaimed water, sanitary sewer, and storm drain. Various capital improvement projects have been planned, including pedestrian improvements, roadway repairs, and enhancements to the Victorian Square area.
The Sparks Comprehensive Plan includes policies to protect and enhance natural resources, address development constraints, promote open spaces and greenways, and improve air quality. The city participates in regional coordination efforts, such as forwarding development review agendas to the Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Agency (TMRPA), and supports the implementation of the regional plan.
In the coming years, the City of Sparks plans to utilize the Natural Resources Plan, participate in population and employment modeling, and contribute to the development of the Public Infrastructure Plan and the 2024 Regional Plan update. They will continue to address regional plan policy changes in future updates to the Comprehensive Plan.
Established in 1861, Washoe County was one of the original nine counties in Nevada. The County, which includes the Reno and Sparks metropolitan area, is the second most populous in the state. As of the July 1, 2021 Governor’s Certified Population Estimate, Washoe was home to a total of 485,113 residents. The unincorporated Washoe County portion of the total population estimate is 113,306 residents.
In 2022, Washoe County, with over half a million residents, focused on addressing population growth and regional development. The county processed and approved various subdivision map applications and reviewed significant regional projects, including solar energy facilities.
The Public Facilities and Services sector highlighted key capital improvement projects, such as the expansion of the South Truckee Meadows Water Reclamation Facility and the renovation of the Bowers Mansion Pool. The county also emphasized regional coordination to address development needs and ensure efficient permitting processes.
In terms of Natural Resources, Washoe County made strides in trail maintenance, park improvements, and addressing noxious weeds. The county also advanced the Sierra Front Trail planning project, contributing to recreation access and conservation efforts. Regarding wildfires, the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District provided a map of wildfires in the region, emphasizing the importance of preparedness and response measures.
Throughout the year, Washoe County made significant progress in updating the master plan through extensive public outreach, input from various committees, and comprehensive background research. The master plan audit analyzed existing goals and policies for possible modifications, while the public outreach collected community input and vision for the future of Washoe County. More information is also available at www.envisionwashoe2040.org. Overall, the county demonstrated a proactive approach to address population growth, enhance public facilities and services, protect natural resources, and plan for future development in the region during 2022.
The Washoe County HOME Consortium (WCHC) is a collaborative partnership between the City of Reno, the City of Sparks, and Washoe County. It oversees the management and allocation of Affordable Housing Trust Funds provided by the State of Nevada and HOME Investments Partnerships Program funds granted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). In 2022, the WCHC utilized $1,085,288 to support tenant–based rental assistance programs for households earning up to 60% of the area median income (AMI). These programs provide financial aid for rent, utilities, deposits, and application fees to eligible households seeking permanent housing. Throughout the year, the Consortium provided rental assistance to 387 low–income households.
Several affordable housing projects were undertaken in 2022 under the HOME program. These included both new construction and rehabilitation initiatives aimed at offering housing options to low–income individuals and seniors. Projects like Vista Point Apartments, Marvel Way Apartments, Sierra Cove Apartments, and Sanctuary Senior Apartments were completed, providing numerous units with varying levels of affordability. Additionally, several other projects, such as Vintage at Washington Station, Springview by Vintage, Copper Mesa Apartments, Ridge at Sun Valley, Orovada St. Senior Phase I, and Vintage at Spanish Springs, were under construction or rehabilitation during the same year, further expanding the availability of affordable housing options in the region.
The Sun Valley General Improvement District is a quasi–municipal entity established in 1967 under Nevada Revised Statue, Chapter 318 and is chartered to provide water, sewer, garbage, and recreation services throughout the Sun Valley community. SVGID acts as a local governmental agency for the residences of Sun Valley and continually monitors State, Regional and local issues that could potentially affect the District’s customers. SVGID board members and staff actively serve on several local boards such as: The Western Regional Water Commission, Northern Nevada Water Planning Commission and Truckee Meadows Water Reclamation Facility Management Committee.
SVGID conducts near and long–term planning for its current service area and the approved service boundary. The water and wastewater master plan identifies the infrastructure that meets the current needs of its residents and the future improvements required to service its build out. The SVGID Board of Trustees establishes water and wastewater rates, sets policies and maintains a close relationship with its constituents to ensure that the community needs are being met. The District works with other local agencies as members of the Nevada Association of Counties to promote growth, business and quality of life.
For the 2022 Annual Report Sun Valley General Improvement District had no wastewater capital improvement projects to report. For the water system, the District can report tank cleaning and
inspection for Boundary, Chocolate, and Klondike tanks. The District also did a leak audit on the water system to pinpoint any potential leaks. Improvements that were developer funded include the 5 Ridges backbone water main infrastructure. This project will serve over 1,200 future homes off of Highland Ranch Parkway near Pyramid Highway. All costs for the project were paid by developer directly to their contractor. SVGID will closely evaluate their operations over the next fiscal year and provide any relevant information for the 2023 Annual Report.
The Washoe County School District (WCSD) was established in 1955 through the consolidation of 13 independent school districts in Washoe County, Nevada. The Nevada Legislature holds four primary responsibilities for public education, including providing a uniform system of common schools and specifying programs and courses of study. In 2016, voters approved a sales tax increase to fund school repairs and construction.
As a public entity, the WCSD is governed by a county–wide elected Board of Trustees that serves as the steward of the district’s values, vision, mission, and resources and plans and directs all aspects of the School District’s operations.
As a county–wide agency, the school district serves all 6,302 square miles of Washoe County and is run by approximately 8,000 staff members that serve 61,599 K–12 students in addition to students attending our Adult Education program. Additional school district characteristics can be found through the WCSD website on the Student Accounting Department webpage.
To plan for population growth, the district produces annual student enrollment forecasts using the “cohort–survival method,” projecting future needs for schools. Most new construction in WCSD occurs in Tier 1 and Tier 2 Lands, fueled by population growth in suburban and rural areas like North Valleys, Spanish Springs, and Verdi. The district’s Capital Improvement Program includes plans for new school construction and facility upgrades, catering to the growing student population.
WCSD is committed to sustainability and energy efficiency, implementing ground–source heating and cooling systems, reclaimed water irrigation, and photovoltaic solar arrays at school sites.
The district collaborates with community partners, agencies, and developers to align with the Truckee Meadows Regional Plan and ensure that WCSD’s facilities and services reflect the region’s vision and policies.
Looking ahead to 2023–2024, WCSD will continue implementing its 2020–2039 Facilities Plan, monitoring regional growth and demographic data to meet capital project needs. Schools play a crucial role in the community, not only as educational centers but also as gathering places and landmarks that contribute to the fabric of the region.
The RTAA is an affected entity, as defined by Nevada Revised Statutes, due to its role as a regional agency having responsibility for planning or providing transportation facilities, specifically aviation transportation facilities. In regards to policy section Population Growth, the RTAA takes the Consensus Forecast into account, however the most accurate forecast for airport demand levels and corresponding facility requirements must consider local, regional, national, and international demand for cargo, passenger airline, military, and general aviation activities. For Reno–Tahoe International Airport, the RTAA is currently using a Federal Aviation Administration–approved forecast that was created specifically for the 2018 RNO Airport Master Plan Update. For Reno–Stead Airport, the RTAA is currently using the FAA Terminal Area Forecast.
In 2022, the Reno–Tahoe Airport Authority (RTAA) focused on airport development and planning, particularly for the Reno–Tahoe International Airport (RNO) and the Reno–Stead Airport (RTS). In terms of airport development, the RTAA owned over 6,500 acres of land, primarily reserved for aviation–related facilities. Some of this land could be made available for third–party development, subject to FAA approval and the release of federal obligations. In 2022, progress was made on developing vacant areas at RNO and RTS for various purposes, including a fixed base operator (FBO) facility, non–aviation industrial/commercial development, and a replacement air cargo facility. These projects involved private developers selected through a request for proposals (RFP) process and required FAA approval.
Regarding airport finances, the RTAA experienced a significant decline in revenues due to the COVID–19 pandemic, leading to budget cuts in 2020. However, in 2022, RNO saw an increase in passengers compared to 2021 and only a slight decrease compared to 2019. Business travel started to recover, but leisure demand led the air travel recovery. Due to changing passenger trends, RNO was reclassified by the FAA from a small–hub airport to a medium–hub airport, impacting federal grant funding for airport infrastructure projects.
The RTAA funded capital projects through various sources, including FAA Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grants, Passenger Facility Charges (PFC), Customer Facility Charges (CFC), and its own operating budget. AIP grants were used for projects related to safety, capacity, security, environmental concerns, and noise compatibility. PFC and CFC funds were collected from passengers and rental car transactions, respectively, and used for approved projects that enhanced safety, security, capacity, and air carrier competition.
Sustainability was a priority for the RTAA, with a focus on economic viability, operational efficiency, natural resource conservation, and social responsibility. Initiatives included recycling programs, green purchasing policies, asphalt/concrete deconstruction and re–use, and exploration of solar power generation. The RTAA aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality through equipment upgrades and emission reduction measures. The RTAA also participated in regional planning and coordinated with local agencies to ensure compatibility with airport operations and mitigate potential noise issues.
In 2023, the RTAA expects to make significant progress on major capacity and modernization projects at RNO.
In the Truckee Meadows, solid waste disposal is handled by private contracts and recycling centers. Each municipality and general improvement district within Washoe County has the authority to enter into franchise agreements for collection, transport and disposal of solid waste and recycling. The Washoe County Health District oversees solid waste management within Washoe County. All solid waste and recycling are transported to WM owned transfer stations and recycling centers in Washoe County. Solid waste is ultimately disposed of at the WM owned Lockwood Regional Landfill located in Storey County. Recycling volumes are preprocessed in Washoe County at WM the Eco Center MRF on Commercial Row, then transported to Sacramento, California for final processing. Cleaned and separated recyclables are then sold as commodities domestically and internationally depending on market demands.
Waste Management has obtained an expansion permit from the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection, allowing them to provide waste disposal capacity for over 100 years at the Lockwood Regional Landfill in Northern Nevada. The landfill has been generating renewable energy since 2012 through a Landfill Gas–to–Energy facility, which converts methane gas produced at the landfill into electricity, powering around 2,000 homes annually. Waste Management plans to expand this green energy initiative in the community.
Recycling programs have been implemented in several areas, with overall participation at approximately 70%. Contamination rates in recycling loads can vary, impacting the viability of recyclable materials and increasing the carbon footprint of disposal. Waste Management focuses on education and outreach to minimize contamination, using various methods such as social and conventional media, in–person presentations, and self–serve educational materials. While progress has been made in establishing domestic markets for recyclable commodities, external factors like changes in petroleum pricing and supply chain interruptions have made market stability uncertain. Waste Management aims to include 25% recycled content in plastic products by supporting relevant legislation.
Waste Management has made efforts to enhance sustainability in its fleet by increasing the number of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fueled vehicles, with plans to replace older diesel trucks with cleaner–burning CNG ones. The Waste Management Eco Center in Reno offers a comprehensive solution for waste and recycling needs, including an Education Center to raise awareness about recycling processes.
Partnerships with GrayMar for household hazardous waste (HHW) processing have allowed Waste Management to provide drop–off options for residents throughout Washoe County, removing over one million pounds of HHW in the first year. Waste Management is exploring options for a transfer station in south Washoe County to accommodate the area’s significant growth and making capital improvements at the Incline Village transfer station. Waste Management continues to seek innovative ways to ensure a sustainable future and contribute to the Truckee Meadows community’s environmental well–being.
The Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County (RTC) serves the residents of Reno and Sparks along with unincorporated areas of Washoe County. The RTC was formed in July 1979 with the approval of legislation that consolidated the Regional Street and Highway Commission, the Regional Transit Commission, and the Washoe County Area Transportation Study Policy Committee. This consolidation increased the effectiveness and efficiency in planning and implementation of the surface transportation program in Washoe County.
The RTC serves three roles for the Washoe County area: it is the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), the transit service provider, and builds the regional roadway network. As the MPO, RTC conducts a collaborative short– and long–range multimodal transportation planning program, consistent with Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act requirements.
In 2022, the RTC made progress in implementing the policies outlined in the 2019 Truckee Meadows Regional Plan. Regarding population growth, the RTC relied on forecasts from the Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Agency (TMRPA) to inform their Travel Demand Model, which helps analyze traffic congestion and assess the benefits of roadway capacity improvements. They also collaborated with TMRPA on an Affordable Housing Study to identify suitable housing sites near transit routes, aiming to support affordable housing development and reduce transportation costs for low–income populations.
In terms of regional form, the RTC incorporated the Regional Land Designations from the Regional Plan into their project prioritization framework for the 2050 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP). They favored projects located within the Truckee Meadows Service Area (TMSA) and prioritized density and land use intensity in the Mixed–Use Core and Tiers 1–3. By focusing on more densely populated areas, the RTC aimed to reduce vehicle miles traveled, promote alternative transportation modes, and improve regional air quality.
Regarding public facilities and services, the RTC developed the RTP to provide a 20–year plan for transportation improvement projects. They ensured fiscal constraints and collaborated with local entities. The RTC Capital Improvement Program (CIP) and the Regional Road Impact Fee (RIFF) Program were utilized to fund infrastructure projects, with a majority of capital expenditures planned for the Mixed–Use Core and Tier 1 areas. The RTC also analyzed the growth and investment priorities indicated in the Regional Plan through the Capital Improvement Tracker analysis.
In terms of natural resources, the RTC emphasized sustainability and climate action as guiding principles. They developed a Sustainability Plan and received recognition from the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) for their sustainability practices. In 2022, the RTC expanded their transit services, including the FlexRIDE micro-transit service, which experienced significant ridership growth. The RTC micro-transit service, FlexRIDE, is a service that offers passengers a cost-effective, curb-to-curb, on-demand ridesharing option. The initial service launched in 2019 as a pilot project in north Sparks. Now it operates in North Valleys, Somersett/Verdi, and Spanish Springs and collectively experienced almost 53,000 rides in 2022. RTC was able to provide 4.5 million rides on RTC RIDE (fixed route) including over one million rides on the two RAPID routes. In addition, the VANPOOL program saw a 31% increase to 347 vanpools. The RTC also made progress toward their goal of operating a 100% alternative-fueled fleet by 2035, including the inclusion of hybrid electric buses and plans for hydrogen fuel cell buses.
The RTC’s implementation of the Regional Plan involved close coordination with partner entities, public outreach, and stakeholder engagement. The RTC developed the RTP in collaboration with Washoe County, the Cities of Reno and Sparks, and TMRPA. They considered various criteria and input from workshops, public comments, surveys, and advisory committees to select projects for inclusion in the RTP.
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