Local Group Starts Petition to Stop Reno Gentrification - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Local Group Starts Petition to Stop Reno Gentrification

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A local activism group is going before the Reno City Council with a petition to stop gentrification. They want to ensure that new development in the downtown Reno area is kept accessible for everyone. 

"Acting in Community Together in Organizing Northern Nevada" or 'ACTIONN' is collecting signatures for a petition to the Reno City Council calling for improved notification of development projects and more support of affordable housing and inclusive zoning.

"We'd like to see socially equitable development policies codified in the City's ordinances," said Mike Thornton, Executive Director for ACTIONN. 

The development of a high-end student housing project displaced dozens of residents last April and is an example of how the City gave subsidies to the developer that ACTIONN says could have been better written to benefit the greater community. It's one of the reasons they are calling for standard "community benefit policies" for all developers. 

"When it comes to subsidies, developers will guarantee to hire local residents and they will buy materials and supplies locally when possible," said Thornton.

The City says there is always room for improvement, but there are already statues in place to ensure subsidies are allocated appropriately.

"The NRS clearly says that if there is more than $100,000 in subsidies given to a developer that triggers something and that requires prevailing wage,” said Oscar Delgado, Reno City Council member, Ward 3.

ACTIONN is applauding the City Council for unanimously approving the purchase of a property on Lewis Street in Reno for low-income housing. But, when it comes to private land, the City Council's hands are often tied. 

"We're a strong property rights state and sometimes that’s hard to deal with in terms of what we are legally obligated to do and can’t do versus the private sector and what they have," said Delgado.

ACTIONN hopes by enacting the changes stated in their petition, it will ensure Reno will continue to be a place everyone can live for years to come.

"We think we can do that at the front end of this wave as compared to sitting at the back end going ‘oh my gosh look at where we're at,’" said Thornton. 

They currently have over 100 signatures and will be collecting signatures until mid-September before giving it to the Reno City Council. For more information on ACTIONN’s petition, click here.
 

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