Urban Renewal Takes Aim At Vista Neighbors

City of Boise official map of proposed Vista “ASSAULT WEAPON” Urban Renewal District.

After Tuesday’s City Council meeting which saw councilors accept the “eligibility report” to form an urban renewal district along Vista Avenue, the GUARDIAN made a startling discovery.

Boise City officials are conspiring with the urban renewal agency, the CCDC (Capital City Development Corp.) to map out an assault weapon-shaped attack and commercial property on Vista is the bull’s eye of their plan.

The image above is the EXACT DOCUMENT which details the area of the Vista Neighborhood targeted for redevelopment. There was no alteration of the map and frankly we think it sends a frightening message: Vista is in the sights of urban renewal despite a history of progress.

Boise’s planning department sent out a letter Thursday to “stakeholders” which read in part, “What this means for parts of your neighborhood is that it has been found to be eligible for urban renewal and, if a district were to be created there, could receive public infrastructure investments such as sidewalks and bike lanes, as well as give the community a tool to encourage more diverse housing and mobility options.”

What the planners say is true…sort of. They don’t explain that with a few exceptions, only the commercial property along Vista is being considered for inclusion in the URD. They talk of sidewalks, etc., but CCDC is prevented by law from spending money outside an urban renewal district. Nearly ALL of the residential area in the Vista neighborhood would be OUTSIDE the proposed district, hence not eligible for improvement funds.

CCDC uses funds diverted from the tax on improvements and appreciated value of property within a district that otherwise would go to schools, ACHD, the city (police and fire) and Ada County.

We posted a story recently asserting there is NO NEED FOR VISTA URBAN RENEWAL.

UPDATE 5/10/19—

While the rifle shaped district proposal is a novelty, we learned today the Ada County Highway District returned fire with a lengthy letter to Boise’s Team Dave challenging their authority to divert taxes through the so-called Tax Increment Financing scheme used by the CCDC urban renewal agency.

In the letter, ACHD claimed they lose more than $1 million in diverted tax revenues each year to CCDC urban renewal districts. They cite the proposed Boise Bench projects as clearly “gerrymandering” to follow major highway routes.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Concerned Neighbor
    May 10, 2019, 8:32 am

    Though there is no such thing as an “assault weapon” – that is socialist marketing – it’s obvious that the CCDC is only being used to divert public funds into private hands. ie public/private “partnership”.

    Bieter abuses the CCDC to do exactly the opposite of what it is intended for – gentrification of otherwise unrecoverable blighted areas. Add in the obvious dodge to bypass the Idaho constitution’s intention of votes for all large tax funded projects and the conclusion is that the CCDC is no longer salvageable. The CCDC must go. Bieter must go.

  2. They are doing the same thing to Latah Street. More traffic on a two lane road with two Jefferson Grade School, and walking to Monroe Grade School and South Jr. High. Obviously the hate which CCDC has towards the Bench continues to grow.

  3. Dave Bieter must walk around the country club, the Arid club, or maybe his downtown office and regularly sips from a bottle of Evian water. His is slowly poisoning him to avoid the taxpayers and scheme and create a proposed mess like this one.

    I admit some of the area around Vista from the NY Canal on the south to Overland Rd. is somewhat of an eyesore, but it has gotten better.

    Maybe what should be done is to tie his and the city councils salary into the tax base from an Urban Renewal like that which they contribute to the schools. No money for the schools, oops, sorry no money for you.

  4. First, kudos to Concerned Neighbor re “assault weapon” as socialist term. However, it is serendipitous to see the shape of proposed zone as a rifle of sorts.

    To the main point…..I really wish we had an Adam Smith free market to live in. Blight and eyesores occur because centralized power sabotages opportunity with fiat based debt schemes and then comes in to “save the day” with socialist plots. If we had a sound money policy, there would be no need for URDs and the like. Plenty of capital would be available to create nice and livable streets and business centers. Starving out small businesses with ridiculous banking practices causes blight. Deep pocket liberal outsiders then come in and build fancy chain malls and stores, with government sanctions bulldozing the way with their URDs and CCDCs. Pretty soon, you get politically motivated plastic communities with special agendas that alter the shape of public discourse. It’s a form of social engineering.

    Just look at how Mark Zuckerberg is using Facebook as a social control weapon these days. Dance to his tune, or else. URDs and CCDCs are just brick and mortar versions of BigTech’s fascism. Bieter et al are the commissars of such plans.

  5. renewal deferral
    May 11, 2019, 6:03 pm

    I’ve heard that because of the falsifications in the report, that this district is a no go. Especially since and URD will not solve the problems in the neighborhoods that the city ignores and denies. The businesses are going to object.

  6. Taxation without representation — Bieter must go. Watch who on the City council supports this and vote them out as well. If you are a business owner in this area say good by to >10% of your profits.

  7. Eamonn Harter
    May 12, 2019, 12:49 pm

    Rebecca Arnold at ACHD has read the Riot Act to Team Dave and the CCDC. It’s interesting to note in her letter that CCDC had only approved two urban renewal projects since 1986 but four since 2012, and this about coincides with an increased number of Team Dave sycophants on the CCDC board. With the new URDs situated along major ACHD thoroughfares, you wonder what exactly is going on?

    I wonder if we’ll see some sort of legal action between ACHD together with the smaller municipalities in Ada County (Kuna, Meridian, Eagle, Star, Garden City) vs. Team Dave and CCDC. Everyone not in a CCDC URD has their taxes expropriated to pay for services in CCDC URDs, but receives no benefit.

  8. YES, there is an “assault weapon”.

    So says Lockheed Martin, maker of a the Javelin:
    “Javelin is a lightweight,…. ***urban assault weapon***:

    There is such a thing as an “assault weapon” and there is a such a thing as an “assault rifle” (the intended term).

    “Army assault rifle”
    And from other knuckle-heads at FOX (they never use inaccurate information):

    The terms are seldom used correctly- just as the two above are doing. Wrong!

    assault – a physical attack.

    weapon – a thing designed or used for inflicting bodily harm or physical damage

    Pretty elementary to combine two words. A pistol can be an assault-weapon.

    So please, let’s keep the uniformed “socialist” comments in the garbage where they belong.


    The idea of a URD of 2 blocks wide is ridiculous.
    Let’s take the salary money of CCDC to spend on Vista instead.
    And I like Vista as it is now.

  9. renewal deferral
    May 12, 2019, 6:42 pm

    When corporate “public\private” partnerships start rent goes through the roof. Look at the constant vacancies and going out of business events in downtown. There is much dying off in the recent downtown district. The folks who occupy the “new” crap cannot support the older individual businesses. They get in their cars and shop somewhere else. There is a big blind spot in the minds of those who support URD’s. Declining ROI for everybody else nearby. Greed. Someone in your pocket.

    Too bad it has come to lawsuits.

  10. Steve Berch
    May 12, 2019, 9:25 pm

    ACHD also supported HB91. This bill diverted $200,000 in impact fees that ACHD gave back to the privately owned COMPASS charter school. I sit on the Local Government committee which heard this bill, which was subsequently signed into law.

    It is puzzling that ACHD would publicly complain about losing revenue while at the same time quietly promote giving up $200,000 in impact fees they could have otherwise legally retained.

  11. As to the note above by Rep Berch, HB91 has nothing to do with URDs.
    Rep Berch was 1 of 9 reps to vote against it.
    Since the point is off-topic and disconnected, I’ll leave it at–the bill passed 60-9.
    Way to go District 15!

  12. Steve Berch
    May 13, 2019, 2:53 pm

    Easterner – My comment was relevant to the “UPDATE 5/10/19” that was appended to the bottom of the article, where ACHD wrote a letter complaining about the amount of money they would lose if these URDs go into effect. Sorry for the confusion.

    The final vote count is irrelevant to the merits of my position. EVERY bad law on the books was passed by a majority of votes, many by overwhelming margins. This bill was particularly suspect because it was passed as an emergency law. That was necessary and deliberate to enable this financial benefit solely for the COMPASS charter school.

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