Stealth Houses in South Boise

Those sneaky house movers are up to it again! Driving around Boise with no less than three two story duplex houses in tow and dumping them at Euclid and Hale before anyone even knew it.

Try sneaking in a few extra minutes on a downtown parking meter or drive down Boise Ave. with loose inner tubes in a pickup and you’re sure to get popped by a vigilant law enforcer. Three duplex houses in stealth mode raised no suspicion.

These guys did it without required city approval and raised the ire of the Southeast Neighborhood Association and Fred Fritchman, a professional historic dude and defender of his Original South Boise. Fred is the architect of the “neighborhood plan” which the council adopted over a year ago, so he has more juice than the average bear. It doesn’t hurt that his ancestors settled the area either.

City Councilors have been doing all they can to encourage “infill”, help BSU expand off the existing campus into the historic residential neighborhood of our early town site and Increase density.

Thank God and Brandi Swindell this is an election year. Council President Maryanne Jordan was quoted in the STATESMAN saying, “It’s become very apparent to us that unless we do something quickly, this is going to continue to happen.”

An emergency council meeting is set for Thursday (today) to iron out an ordinance which is expected to be passed at the regular Tuesday council session. Councilors are aiming at a moratorium on infill. Let’s hope they can keep it in effect after the November 8 election.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Mary Ann Jordan (and Ms. Clegg and Mr. Shealy) created this mess!! Now it is an EMERGENCY?????

    HUNDREDS of Boise Tax Payers have been screaming for over a year about the “infill and damn the neighborhoods” approach of Ms. Jordan.

    Why is Ms. Jordan worried NOW??? Only because there is an election coming up…and she has an opponent.

    If ANYONE gives Ms. Jordan (or the others on the Council) ANY credit for fixing the very problem they created then don’t be surprised IF Jordan is re-elected to see more “Smart Growth” turned into “Stupid Row House Infill” and the “Blueprint for Good Growth” become the “Outline for FORCED UBANISM”! Which is what it really is anyway.

    These people think they know it all and they DON’T!


  2. “…Three duplex houses in stealth mode raised no suspicion.”

    I’m sure this was meant in good fun but the above comment couldn’t be further from the truth…even though that was their (the movers) exact intent. =)

    I became aware of this problem the week before it happened and pointed it out to Fred Fritchman. He was able to get letters in front of the Council before they picked up their first cup of coffee that very morning. =) Not to mention these so called “Stealth Movers” woke up half of South Boise throughout the night.

    But I like the story though, none the less. =)

    Ed note– You got it right Mort!

  3. Richard Scott
    Oct 10, 2005, 9:49 am

    The article (Stealth Houses in South Boise) is unclear to me. Houses moved without city approval? Huh? Do you mean A) removed from their lot or B) transported or C) placed on another lot ———— without approval?

    Regarding infill of “shotgun houses”, those 25 foot wide lots were platted out about 100 years ago. Unless you have a time machine, there’s nothing you can do about our “city fathers” decisions made in the early 20th century.

    By the story’s reasoning, (Mr. Fritchman’s ancestors settled the area) the opinions of “Boise natives” or “long timers” are much more important than newbies like Councilor Jordan. Oh, wait, the article didn’t mention if Jordan’s ancestors were born here or not. So, long ago Boise natives who decided 25 feet was wide enough for a home lot should be respected, because, um, they were here first. Some of those who drew up those lot lines might even be Mr. Fritchman’s ancestors.

    I hear alot of complaining (whining) about shotgun houses, but the complaint begs the question, Do you have any better ideas?

    Perhaps a $10 million bond a la the foothills bond to buy all the narrow lots in town and make them into little pocket parks would suit the complainers. Perhaps we should just leave the dumpy existing houses there. You know, the ones with crumbling foundations, drafty single pane windows, little to no insulation. The ones with weeds from the garbage strewn alley all the way to sidewalk-less front yard mud bog, except under the 73 Chevy Nova in the back yard.

    I’m not a lawyer, but I’m pretty sure that infill construction is not just a City issue, but a State and Federal one also. Remember the alliterative–, “private property rights”. I think we all know where the State of Idaho stands on that issue.

    What really got me motivated to comment was the paragraph about BSU expanding “historic residential neighborhood.” Do you mean the neighborhood full of the houses I described two paragraphs ago. The ones that have been abused by generations of college students and inept landlords and a city code enforcement department that’s about as useful as the New Orleans levee department.

    I may sound like I’m in favor of the shotgun house style of infill, and I am to a reasonable point.
    Duplexes with the back half on an unpaved alley are truly a bad idea, in my non-native Boisean opinion.

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