City Government

Citizens Fighting Boise City Hall

We received no fewer than three alerts from the growing cadre of citizen activists seeking to preserve some remnants of what many of us remember as “Old Boise.”

The big concern was about a proposal to allow the planning director to make more decisions without council approval and to reduce the number of “invitations” for meetings regarding variances and zoning changes to just immediate property owners.

Here is a link to the plan for EASIER SUBDIVISION. The other plan is for a reduction in NEIGHBORHOOD MEETINGS .

The GUARDIAN talked with Boise Planning Director Hal Simmons about the proposed code changes and he made a good case for them. In a nutshell, here is what Simmons explained.
–Regarding the “ease of subdividing,” some developers have abused a “minor land division” clause that allowed for land splits of up to 4 parcels. It was aimed at people who had several lots and wanted to split them off. Simmons department seeks to actually have authority to DENY splits that don’t meet specific criteria.

–As to reducing the neighborhood meeting requirements, that is intended to make it easier for a single resident owner to add a room or garage that needs a setback or other minor variance. Currently you have to notify everyone within 300 feet for such changes and the new rule would require notification of only adjacent owners and reduce the burden to improve personal real estate.

While the changes may need some “tweaking,” we will take Simmons at his word and suggest anyone with questions contact him at City Hall.

Meanwhile, VANISHING BOISE activists sent this request:

We have hatched a last-minute plan to join our friends from the Northwest Neighborhood Association to stand silently 45 minutes before the City Council’s UPCOMING TOWN HALL this Wednesday with a few signs out front.

It will be a rare opportunity to get the attention of Boise’s leadership as they and our fellow Boiseans are entering the Town Hall.

We just need 5 volunteers to agree to make a single poster board sign and arrive at 6:15pm and stand outside silently alongside the friendly rally-ers of NW Neighborhood.

Were you already planning on attending and could add this little social activism to your evening?

Comments & Discussion

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  1. One of my concerns is the upcoming election for governor, if Alhquist wins we can say good bye to idaho in general, the last thing we need is a developer as governor. We have one on the city council and that seems to me to be a conflict of interest, but I am sure it fits right in with the majors plans.

  2. My money is on a back-door entrance.

  3. We need new faces
    Apr 11, 2018, 8:41 am

    These changes were to go before council on Tuesday, (or was it PZ on Monday?) and it was postponed because they wanted to notify neighborhood associations. There will be an official meeting on May 14, (I think) to discuss this. I do not have a copy of the changes, but it appears that the city does not want to hear our voices. All neighborhood associations need to stand up to this.

    EDITOR NOTE–Changes are posted in the pdf links highlighted.

  4. Dan – Alquist is a Utahan as well as a developer.

    The most useful thing that any Boise resident can do to stop the agenda of the current Boise politicos is to get more voters to the polls from South and West Boise.

    If you look at the voter records from the last election it is CLEAR that the North End turns out 4 TIMES more voters per precinct.

    These post election efforts mean nothing and the mayor and council will ignore them – just as they have done in the past.

    West Boise and South Boise MUST get the vote out – PERIOD.

  5. western guy
    Apr 11, 2018, 5:43 pm

    how much outreach did City Hall and Team Dave/Council do with respect to the much-needed remote city council meetings? Did city hall contact all of the official neighborhood associations?

  6. I agree, I live in the northend and it really bugs me that this part of town is so politically active that they can control city elections. I don’t agree with 99% of what they vote for. Beiter would take over the world if he had an opportunity, quite dictatorial.

  7. Since the rate of “growth” in Boise is already very high, I should be puzzled as to why they want the subdivisions and notifications made easier i.e. faster.
    I think it’s because last year Meridian’s Mayor and City Council have outdone Boise’s pace of subdivision (or growth).
    These cities really are competing for the newcomers to the Treasure Valley.
    If Boise really cared about being most livable city, would they be excluding the current residents from having a say in the direction city’s development is going?

  8. A couple of thoughts… The move to make development decisions easier is a move to get additional housing on the market sooner, which is both good and bad. After seeing the infill sundivision approval process first hand, a developer can expect about 18-24 months before he has permittable building lots. That is a long time. This not an infill lot getting approved, but for small subdivisions. While many will welcome the time period as a hedge against fast growth, it also puts a squeeze on close-in housing supply and actually pushes growth further out where it it easier to get approved…

  9. Governor candidates… as I see it we can elect the old guard/status quo in Brad Little, which is not doing much to address todays issues. We can go further right in Raul Labrador which IMO will create more issues by just slash and burn budget cutting and also jepordzie our public lands.. Or we elect someone new, energetic an over achiever in Tommy Alquist.. It just depends on who you feel Idaho needs. I think it is time for some fresh energy at the legislature, some one who is willing to take on the porblems and issues of today and work toward solutions rather kicking the can down the road…

    EDITOR NOTE–What? No choice on the Dem side?

  10. Dave Kangas comments on the governorship, and then ends on “time for some fresh energy in the LEGISLATURE”.

    Those two do not equate.

    Even a fresh governor (such as Paulette Jordan), is NOT going to be able to do squat when fighting against the stale legislators.
    Alquist, fresh? If anyone thinks that is a fresh representation (an old white mormon male) they might want to visit the capitol– too late.

    When committee chairs can ignore bills, table the issue, and not send decent proposals to the body for a vote, AND THEN when the Speaker doesn’t allow the body to vote on an important health care bill.. not even allow a VOTE… the governorship really doesn’t matter other than in a formality.

    Rep Scott Bedke is running the house.
    An old white guy from Oakley Idaho.
    99% of Idahoans don’t even know where Oakley is on the map.
    Brigham Young University;
    Idaho Cattleman’s Association; and those are the ONLY two reason he sits in the seat.

    His idea of social media is one post on Facebook per year and updated information is a 2014 newsletter on his website

    Yeah, we DO need some freshness.

    The old guard continues to push moderate Republicans to the left while the extreme Teabaggers continue to give the Party a bad image.
    Just a matter of time– ask Paul Ryan.

    EDITOR NOTE–Apologies for letting the off-topic Kangas comment go through. Please no more off topic on this post!

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