City Government

Infill Out…Sort Of

Southeast neighbors led by Fred Fritchman took a 2×4 to the Boise City Council mule Friday and apparently “got their attention.”

Once they got whacked between the eyes with complaints of three duplex homes sneaked into a tiny space in the middle of the night on Hale St., they called an emergency council meeting and passed an ordinance tightening the reins on design requirements for infill houses. A good move, but long overdue.
horizntl Infil.jpg

Infills are those skinny structures that often as not have cars parked in the front yard or have one unit of a duplex facing an alley. The new ordinance has lots of soft language like “quality materials” and two story buildings will be “discouraged, but might be appropriate sometimes.” It is a temporary measure only, but it seems to the GUARDIAN the council is missing the overall point on this.


Listen to the citizens NOT the planners and developers who are hell bent on packing together as many people per square foot as possible to increase profits.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. the junkyard dog
    Oct 8, 2005, 5:01 pm

    Of course the builders and developers are extracting every cent of profit they can BUT as much as we hate these ugly infill homes, there’s a whole crop of people out there who enjoy living like sardines. Read the transcript of Wednesday’s Channel 7 broadcast, and you’ll uncover an interview in which a citizen is praising infill and likens it to “a real nice double wide mobile home with a built-in garage.”

    Talk about stealth houses, what’s really going on is stealth rezoning from R to M.

  2. Kudos go out to Fred and Carolyn Fritchman for all the work they have done for “The Original South Boise Neighborhood”, and the city itself! Who knows what state it would be in without their involvement and leadership.

    Tom and Laura Mort

  3. I think a couple infill houses got temporarily dumped at the corner of Federal Way and Kootenai/Protest. They’ve been there for a couple weeks, I think.

    Ed note: We figure Developer Clark can get a variance and put them on Warm Springs where there is plenty of room between houses.

  4. Robert Boester
    Oct 11, 2005, 12:57 pm

    I also abhor “skinny houses”. They are basically the new version of “shotgun” houses.

    However, infill doesn’t always have to be totally bad… In my neighborhood (Vista) there are aeas -including my own- where small, older homes sit on huge lots. One of those older homes, right across from me was sold, last year. It is still there, but the huge lot was subdivided into 3 lots. A pretty nice-looking new home was built on one of the new lots, while an older exisiting home was trucked to the other new lot, and placed on a new basement foundation (it is presently being remodeled). Although I was at first flat against it, I have changed my mind. It is not all that bad…

    I, too, would like to subdivide my own lot, but P&Z proobably won’t allow me to do so, because I lack the proper width to allow access to the huge garden area in the back, which I would love to say goodbye to, since I no longer care for yard work. The garden would make a nice building lot, though, for a non-skinny house…

  5. The City Council appears to have closed the barn door after many horses have escaped. Better late than never I guess. I think they moved slow because they have bought into this infill fad without critical thought about the effects on the neighbors of these projects, whether cheesy shotgun houses or overwhelming structures like the Crescent Rim condos. The supposed cost savings of development within an area where streets and utilities are already available is too alluring. And if you are against sprawl you must be for infill, right?

  6. There is an infill on the east side of Gary Lane that has several houses stuffed in every which way with tall wooden fences separating them. The access is all asphalt and concrete. Not only is this infill ugly, it has to be extremely energy inefficient because there is no grass or other landscaping to absorb heat. Instant slum in my opinion.

  7. What the City Council has done will not solve the problem they have created by gross infill.

    All the rules they passed allow the planning staff to decide what fits – and the planning staff is as big a problem as the City Council.

    The move by the city is just letting the fox guard the henhouse.

    Until we have different city council members this blueprint for goofy growth with continue!

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