Ludwig Seeks “Tweak” To Stadium Ordinance

The GUARDIAN pressed former City Councilor Scot Ludwig about his efforts to seek an amendment to the ordinance which prohibits use of public funds for any stadium project worth more than $5 million in either private or public funds.

Ludwig adamantly denied any connection to a current or future stadium project.

“All I want is to protect private property rights and honor the intent of those who circulated the petition,” he said adding, “I am not aware of any stadium proposals within the city.”

Here is his statement sent to media outlets Wednesday.

Voters in Boise last November, overwhelmingly approved a city Ordinance that addresses public expenditure on large sports facility projects. Without question, Boiseans clearly stated they wanted public involvement and a resultant vote on a significant public project of this nature. While I wholly support the intention and spirit of the Ordinance, as written it has one significant unintended consequence; the Ordinance violates the rights of private property owners enshrined in the Idaho Constitution.

The language of the Ordinance creates a blanket prohibition on a private landowner spending ONLY private money (no public money) on a sports facility that costs $5,000,000.00 or more, without first obtaining voter approval. There is no other similar circumstance found in Idaho law or municipal code in which a public vote supplants the private property owner’s determination of what they will do with their property, and for good reason.

Idahoans believe in the fundamental rights of private property owners and the right to the use of such property without excessive government intervention. This freedom is foundational to the culture and values of the people of our great state.

The group behind the Ordinance, Boise Working Together, worked hard and effectively to bring this Ordinance forward. I genuinely believe that the purpose and intent of the Ordinance was to require public involvement and a vote on a new stadium project that was in whole or part publicly funded, and not to unconstitutionally restrict the rights of private property owners that are not pursuing public funding.

As such, I would urge Mayor McLean, the Boise City Council and Boise Working Together and any other interested parties to come together and make minor changes to the Ordinance to preserve its intended and lawful purpose.

Attorneys for the City of Boise have repeatedly noted the unconstitutionality of the Ordinance. If left unamended, a legal challenge which would almost assuredly be successful would invalidate the entire Ordinance and would result in unnecessary expense. This can be avoided if simple changes are made to the Ordinance to cure its constitutional deficiencies, and we can preserve the fundamental rights of private property owners and honor the will of the voters of Boise.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Pants On Fire
    Feb 5, 2020, 3:49 pm

    The motives are not being disclosed to us. Baseball? It’s going to mostly be used by really loud concerts with lots of drunks pouring out afterword. So put it someplace that will minimize the impact of the noise and the drunks. Of course the financial risk should be all on the private sector. Tax money should not fund something like this.

  2. Dave Kangas
    Feb 6, 2020, 10:05 am

    Scott did not read the ordinance as passed. Instead he is focused on the initiative language. No mention of private funds in the passed ordinance.

    EDITOR NOTE–This is the part in question: B. “Major sport stadium facility project” means any sport stadium facilit y project reasonably expected to require public and/or private costs and/or expensestotaling not less than five million dollars ($5,000,000).

    We are suggesting all parties agree to a simple amendment to include something like “Nothing herein shall be construed to require a vote on any Project on privately owned real property using only private funds.”

  3. “All I want is to protect private property rights ”
    I didn’t know [reasonable] property property rights are under assault.
    Given all the approved ugly projects with lack of adequate ‘private parking’ onsite, I’m under the impression private property owners can build whatever junk they want to.

  4. Wasn’t Scot Ludwig an elected public servant participating in the drafting of the CITY ORDINANCE?
    If someone in the private sector wants to build a ball park “without excessive government intervention” like the public’s tax dollars to pay for it? TAX DOLLARS ARE GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION. And a ball park is EXCESSIVE for most property owners.
    Oh that Scot always looking out for?

  5. Eamonn Harter
    Feb 7, 2020, 11:12 pm

    “Given all the approved ugly projects with lack of adequate ‘private parking’ onsite, I’m under the impression private property owners can build whatever junk they want to.”

    Like the Simplot JUMP center? I suspect that the architects were on magic mushrooms when they were drawing that mess.

  6. Chickenhawk
    Feb 8, 2020, 12:33 pm

    Ol’ Scotty is just upset that The People have spoken up and took a stand against raising taxes to pay for stadiums and other big-ticket projects that support out of town multimillionaires. He is afraid that he will lose money as a developer.

    No wonder things are so out of control with so much incompetence everywhere. Go cry in your multi-million dollar wine!

  7. what a cryin' shame
    Feb 9, 2020, 9:04 am

    I consider it his free advertising plan.

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