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.
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?
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