Developer To Make Own Laws

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. boise_city_1.jpg

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.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. The Mayor and Council have also been in the pocket of even another developer – BILL CLARK. Recently they had their Good Buddy Bill submit a change to current ordinaces to allow “spot zoning” around downtown so Good Buddy Bill (and others) can build downtown “residences” – the ones that will save our dying downtown – in places that current zoning will not allow.

    Wasn’t it Good Buddy Bill that also proposed the change in the ordinace that allows “stick builings” rather than steel frames??? Hummm…

    Most property owners have NO IDEA the Council and Planning Staff did this and will not know until Good Buddy Bill (or some other developer) proposes a MASSIVE project next to their quiet little (and un-important) property!

    So who picked Good Buddy Bill to submit the ordinace change??? And why did it fly through all the approvals so fast?? Could it be….The City Planning Director – Hal “Urbanize the City at all cost” Simmons??? Someone had Good Buddy Bill submit the ordinace change so both the City and Good Buddy Bill can get around the current zoning that for years has required C-5 zoning to be “next to” other C-5 zones.

    So after Good Buddy Bill submitted the change the Planning Director AND the Planning and Zoning Commission rubber stamped the change and now Good Buddy Bill can get all the “spot zoning” wherever he wants it. Look out if you own property downtown!

    It is clear that the City leaders (oops – the suck all the money we can out of the taxpayers crowd) has sold out not only their souls to Good Buddy Bill (and other developers) but it is clear that the developers have their hands in the Councils’ pockets and the taxpayers’ wallets.

    It is time to remove the Mayor and those on the Council that spend more time pandering to developers than listening to those that elected them. The longer they are in office the more it is going to cost us and the more we will see them cutting deals with Good Buddy Bill (and others)!

    Ed note: The GUARDIAN welcomes comments from all sides of issues.

  2. It is so obvious that the City Planning Director, Hal Simmons and the Planning and Zoning Council are puppeteers for developers like Bill Clark. Bill Clark tells them what to do and they jump. Mayor Bieter and the City Council seem to be made of the same cloth. Watch out when election day comes around. The people are uniting and we will see you in the unemployment line.

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