Young developer David Hale has made his mark in Boise cramming tiny two story houses into existing neighborhoods to the delight of growth advocates and the consternation of some preservationists.
Now he has aimed his creative sights on some older buildings on the western edge of downtown in a newly created urban renewal district managed by the Capital City Development Corp.–the vague, but extremely powerful quasi government agency.
The CCDC brought us the Rebar Pit , the aesthetically lovely Grove Hotel, habitually blocked traffic lanes on Capitol and 9th Streets, and unfair competition to any business outside the downtown area.
In a nutshell: all local taxes on IMPROVEMENTS within the urban renewal district go to the CCDC with the exception of school taxes. None of the taxes on improvements go to the city. That means businessmen like Rick Harvey, owner of Artsmith Jewelers on Vista, have to pay city taxes for their competitors downtown.
“I shouldn’t have to pay for someone else’s mistakes or failures. Downtowners should take all of the risk and receive all the benefits,” said Harvey when asked about the tax system downtown.
Boise City officials claim to have no zoning ordinance rules to cover the type of development Hale envisions for six blocks of downtown. Soooo…in typical pro-developer fashion the city has invited Hale to draft his own ordinance. Next time you want to build a fence or addition to your garage, just ask to draft a law to fit your needs!
Mayor Dave Bieter calls Hale’s plans “innovative proposals” and has urged city planning and zoning staff to accommodate him.
Wouldn’t it be nice if the mayor asked the newly annexed citizens of southwest Boise to draft the ordinance? Or maybe the folks who have lived in the Bench-Depot Neighborhood for 35 years. The general spin is that “development will benefit everyone.” If true, let everyone have a hand in drafting a proposed ordinance for Mr. Hale.
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