Sparks pulls back

A hint for Reno

The City of Sparks has reduced its acreage and its “sphere of influence.”

It was an action driven by the recession. When it appeared that there was going to be substantial business development, Sparks had asserted its authority into the Truckee River Canyon for several miles to the east. But much of the development evaporated with hard times. So the city was left in a position of having to provide services without drawing the expected level of revenue. More than 9,000 acres were at issue.

A sphere of influence is defined in state law as “an area into which a city plans to expand as designated in a comprehensive regional plan …”

The canyon land will now be a county concern. The city’s action also averted a lawsuit by Voters for Sensible Growth, which contended the city was exceeding its authority in extending its purview over the canyon corridor.