Reno seeks input on large-scale economic development plan (opinion)
Special to the NNBV
RENO, Nev. — The city of Reno’s Office of Economic Development is currently in the process of drafting its initial Reno Economic Development Strategy, or REDS, and we want your input to ensure that the plan is an accurate reflection of our growing community.
Developing a city-focused economic development strategy is a city of Reno priority initiative, and the REDS represents the first time that the city has compiled all of its economic development policies and objectives into a single document.
Economic development is at the core of every community planning effort. It is the mechanism by which resources are created to pay for the goods and services citizens and businesses desire.
Communities with strong economic development typically have lower unemployment rates and higher average wages, and as a result their residents have more disposable income and their governments have more tax revenue to maintain infrastructure and provide amenities.
However, strong economic development can also overwhelm a community and create issues such as a lack of affordable housing and insufficient public infrastructure.
A good economic development strategy recognizes that there is much more to economic development than just job creation; it is a comprehensive analysis of community conditions and the formulation of strategies that assure positive outcomes.
As the city of Reno recently engaged in substantial research and community outreach as part of the ReImagine Reno Master Plan and the Downtown Action Plan processes, the proposed REDS draws heavily from those documents.
However, it also contains new strategies and specific metrics that address additional issues and changes that have occurred since the adoption of those documents.
Three of the nine key strategies proposed include:
- Optimizing city-owned assets;
- Promoting a diverse mix of housing options; and
- Promoting “Renocentric” development (businesses and developments geared toward Reno’s unique attributes)
Research on the REDS commenced in August 2018, and the first complete draft was made available for public review on June 17, 2019. A copy of the most current version of the draft REDS, along with other information, can be found at Reno.gov/EconomicDevelopment.
First review by the Reno City Council is currently scheduled for Aug. 14, 2019, and interested persons are encouraged to provide written comments to me: Aric Jensen, Revitalization Manager, at email@example.com. I look forward to hearing your feedback.
For additional background, the city recommends reviewing the Downtown Action Plan and the ReImagine Reno Master Plan, which are the original sources of many of the policies in the draft REDS. Copies are available for download at ReImagineReno.us and Reno.gov/EconomicDevelopment.
The city of Reno thanks everyone who participated in the creation of the ReImagine Reno Master Plan and the Downtown Action Plan, and encourages others to join in the ongoing process of creating the kind of community that people are proud to call home.
Aric Jensen is the Revitalization Manager for the city of Reno. In this position, he leads the city’s economic development efforts. Please contact Jensen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 775-321-8302 with comments or suggestions on the Reno Economic Development Strategy (REDS).
Heather Ashbridge, who started with Nevada State Development Corporation in 2008, previously served in several roles with the organization, including assistant vice president and loan officer. She is based in NSDC’s Reno office.