SPARKS, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) -- City officials want to improve the appearance of Sparks. That means changes to residential code enforcement are coming.
Sparks City Planner Armando Ornelas said in recent years complaints about residential property have increased, so in order to address those concerns, they're changing the city's municipal code.
"Right now we do code enforcement on a complaint basis," Ornelas said. "We're not doing a whole lot of proactive code enforcement because we haven't had the resources."
Ornelas said right now they have two code enforcement officers and they're looking at hiring a third.
"Our citizens care and so therefore it's important to us," he said.
Ornelas said they're also changing some of the code, like requiring 75 percent of your front yard to be something other than dirt and limiting where you can have vehicles on your property.
"We're not trying to take away people's ability to store their recreational vehicles on site," he said. "We're just trying to mitigate the visual impact to the rest of the neighborhood."
RVs are okay in your driveway, but broken down vehicles can't be in plain sight.
"We are adding inoperable and junk vehicles as a nuisance in the code," Ornelas said. "So there would be limitations on their storage. It would have to be in a fully enclosed structure that meets code."
They're also making the rules for vacant properties more strict.
"If that door or window is visible from the street and they're boarded up with plywood, that board [needs to] be painted to match the house," he said. "So it doesn't have that glaring appearance of hey, here's a vacant home."
Ornelas said the changes are getting mixed responses.
"People either are saying yeah, it's about time that we did more along these lines, and then there are people that are saying leave us alone," he said.
Ornelas said the new rules will likely be finalized by July, but there will be a grace period and citations probably won't be issued until December.
City officials want your input, so they're hosting a public meeting tonight at Sparks City Hall, 431 Prater Way. The meeting will run from 5:30-7:00 p.m.
If you can't make it to the meeting, you can voice your opinion by calling (775) 353-5555 and asking for code enforcement or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org