Community Outreach: #IgniteSparks Community Outreach Program
Nevada Revised Statutes require that a city must undertake a master planning process periodically. The City of Sparks hadn’t updated their complete masterplan in more than 20 years. By the year 2034, the City of Sparks, with a population of 93,581, is projected to grow by 28%, to 120,077. Factors include an influx of businesses and industry into the region bringing workers and the need for more housing.
The City Manager directed planning staff to conduct, draft and have final approval for new city-wide Comprehensive Plan within one year. The Comprehensive Plan is intended to help the City’s elected officials and staff anticipate and manage rather than react to changing circumstances. The outreach initiative, called #IgniteSparks, is a multi-level process providing residents a voice in assessing the state of Sparks today, identifying trends and future opportunities and serves as the tool to guide the city’s future.
To secure resident engagement in the comprehensive planning process.
- To secure 600 responses to the Phase I Vision Survey with a 5% confidence rating.
- To secure 1,800 responses to the Phase II Deep Dive Survey with a 5% confidence rating.
- To engage with new demographics and pave the way for future city outreach initiatives.
- To meet the final deadline for the project completion and reach 3% of the population.
- Secured 786 surveys; 31% over goal.
- Secured 1807 surveys; .4% above goal. The total survey responses resulted in a 3% confidence rating out pacing set objective.
- Utilizing community champions with their networks including sports leagues, faith-based organizations, event organizers, not-for-profits, health care industry, ethnically diverse organizations, university students and organizations we were able to amplify the outreach into very active members of the community who were excited to participate and expressed thankfulness to be included; they also expressed interest to continue to be involved.
- The Comprehensive Plan was completed and presented to the Planning Commission at their August meeting and was approved. It is currently awaiting final approval by the Sparks City Council which takes place in October. A City Council workshop held in mid-September was met with a great response and all signs point toward full adoption. In total, 3% of the population was reached.
- Facebook engagement on the paid post for the Phase 2 survey reached 28,823 impressions, 465 likes, 109 shares and 35 comments; comments the team reviewed when writing the draft plan.
The planners had confidence we had received excellent input from a wide-range of community that mirrored the age, ethnicity, and address of the city, the planners really listened and took the comments of the public to heart in creating the plan. An astounding outcome at the Planning Commission hearing to adopt the plan, was that there was NO voiced opposition to the plan.