Biggest Little City Not So Little

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The "Biggest Little City" isn't so little any more.

A new report by the U.S. Census Bureau said Reno's population has surpassed 200,000.

The Census bureau estimates Reno's population has grown by 20,000 since 2000 and reached 203,550 in July 2005, making it the 30th fastest growing city in the country.

While some say the growth has brought new opportunities and rejuvenation, others worry it's too much.

A county survey in May found more than 60 percent consider growth, traffic or water as the most pressing issue facing the region.

On the flip side, others say the growth is bringing in more jobs and fueling cultural development.

"As it hits these kinds of milestones, and 200,000 is a milestone, Reno today is not what it was 10 or 30 years ago," said Warren Lerude, a Reno native, University of Nevada, Reno, journalism professor and former editor at the Reno Gazette-Journal.

The city, he said, "has gone through a rebirth many times."

The arrival of many mid-career professionals from California who demand more boutiques, restaurants and culture is driving the growth, Lerude said.

"A more sophisticated lifestyle is emerging," he said.

The cities and county are looking to expand to the north by as much as 160,000 acres over the next 100 years, including 12,000 acres for Reno and 16,000 acres for Sparks within 25 years. More than 40,000 housing units have been approved by Reno, Sparks and Washoe County.