Home sprinklers ordinance headed to Las Vegas City Council

Updated June 5, 2017 - 11:24 pm

Under a new proposal, all new one- and two-family homes built in Las Vegas would need automatic fire sprinkler systems.

A committee on Monday advanced the measure to a City Council meeting later this month.

If the council approves the residential sprinkler ordinance, it would take effect at least six months later, to allow contractors to prepare. City officials have met with representatives from the Southern Nevada Home Builders Association over concerns about the proposed ordinance, Deputy City Manager Orlando Sanchez said.

UNLV’s School of Public Policy conducted an independent cost-benefit analysis, scheduled to be presented at the June 21 City Council meeting, where the council could vote on the residential sprinkler measure.

Abandoned properties

The council is considering cracking down on abandoned homes, which are often occupied by squatters. The proposed update to the city code is a more proactive approach to identifying and tracking residential properties that have been abandoned, or are on the verge of becoming abandoned, and get them secured.

The proposed changes call for code enforcement staffers to inspect residential properties when they are notified they’re abandoned or could become abandoned. The city would register abandoned properties and charge the mortgage holder an initial $200, plus $200 for every year the property remains on the city’s register.

“Abandoned properties are being occupied by people who shouldn’t be there,” Councilman Bob Coffin said.

Vicki Ozuna, the city’s code enforcement supervisor, said a data portal project would help city code enforcement determine the location of houses that someone has abandoned. Banks that control foreclosed homes are less responsive about properties in Wards 1, 3 and 5, the city’s urban core, than they are about homes in areas farther from downtown to the west and northwest.

“It’s very important we hold the banks accountable on these properties,” Ozuna said.

Recreational marijuana

The council will also consider a pair of recreational marijuana ordinances, allowing recreational to join medical marijuana in the city zoning code. No marijuana cultivation facilities would be allowed within 1,000 feet of any school or within 300 feet of any city park, church, community recreational facility or other establishment with a primary function of recreation for minors.

The second change provides for dual business licenses that medical marijuana dispensaries can pursue to begin recreational sales. The fees would stay the same, and any medical marijuana establishment that has paid the city’s $75,000 origination fee since July 2016 would see that credited toward the dual license. That ordinance would expire next April, in anticipation of more permanent regulations coming down.

Contact Jamie Munks at jmunks@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0340. Follow @JamieMunksRJ on Twitter.

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