City Government

More Down Thoughts For Up Zone Plan

The Guardian has been a long time proponent of allowing citizens to vote on issues as profound as the proposed up zone. City officials seem to be taking a lesson from the Idaho Legislature when it comes allowing citizen votes.

Guest Opinion by

Why I will urge the Planning and Zoning Commission to Reject the Upzone:

Tyranny. It’s top-down tyranny for Boise leaders to impose a Code re-write cutting the public’s voice out of development decisions that will profoundly alter our Boise neighborhoods.

Transparency will be lost. Developers will push projects on city staff with no public hearings, increasing potential for corruption. Projects will be set in stone, and the public’s only recourse will be expensive appeals. Crucial development decisions that could drive us out of our homes or apartments will be made behind closed doors at City Hall.

Teardowns will multiply. Existing affordable housing will be hauled away as trash to the landfill and replaced by new much larger structures with a bigger carbon pollution footprint. How not to get to net zero.

Tree canopy cover will be chopped down. The City of Trees will become the city of stumps, harsh concrete, and an unhealthy environment.

Temperatures will shoot up. The urban heat island effect will rise as green space vanishes.

Trauma. The social fabric of our community will be ripped apart as predatory speculators swoop in – turning Boise into a city of transitory renters, where regular folks can’t afford a home, and workers live in fear of rent skyrocketing and impending homelessness.

Terrorized. How renters will feel when landlords keep raising rents and they endlessly have to move to survive. How seniors will feel when they can no longer stay in their homes as tax assessments climb and gentrification engulfs them.

Taking away a good place to live from all those who helped build this community over the 60 years that the existing Code and various modifications have served us well. Taking from those who invested their life savings to buy a house in a pleasant place. Taking from neighborhood groups who spent thousands of collective hours crafting plans for livable neighborhoods.

Taxes will go through the roof. Seniors and workers will be forced to flee to somewhere more affordable.


Jammed! Streets are already clogged, as our weak public transportation system falls further and further behind. 

Transfer of wealth will take place. High density apartments and Airbnbs will be owned by Wall Street speculators and transnational corporations. Money will flow out of Boise. Civic values will suffer.

Trickle down housing has failed to produce affordability wherever it’s been tried. 

This complex, confusing 600+ page Code change and 300+ Comprehensive Plan revision will foster a Wild West growth mentality and chaotic development. Robber Baron style developers will chart our city’s future, converting Boise to a city of renters at the mercy of landlords.

Any large-scale Zoning Code change should come up from the people and be conducted through close study of, and consultation with, individual neighborhoods. It should not be imposed top down using expensive consultants who spoon fed boilerplate growth industry schemes, resisted in other cities, to a committee weighted with development interests hand-picked by the Mayor.

Any change of this magnitude must be put on the ballot for a public vote, giving citizens and media the time to dig into what these vast regulatory changes will do, and how they will impact our community. Instead, city leaders are trying to rush this through, and put distance between the Code controversy and the upcoming fall 2023 local elections.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Great points that need more serious consideration and much, much more awareness of the majority of the population.

  2. Stoops McAllister
    Apr 26, 2023, 10:39 am

    opposed to the upzone but this fearmonger rant is nothing short of suitable for the county landfill.

  3. I believe if we the people looked at our ELECTED PUBLIC SERVANTS as ELECTED PUBLIC SERVANTS as opposed to elected leaders or city officials it would be an easier argument as to why leaders or officials are working for out of town investors and developers as opposed to ELECTED PUBLIC SERVANTS working for the public! Then when you add the mayors thinking it is okay to appoint two YES council members it diminishes all respect for ALL our city’s ELECTED AND APPOINTED PUBLIC SERVANTS.

  4. Comp. plan isn’t a 300-page change. There are very minor edits of terminology, but Blueprint Boise is unchanged from its current form. Ms. Fite certainly knows better but is trying to be scary. A shame.

  5. One commissioner commented that in the past 2 years over 700 variances were considered and that the new code would eliminate the need for variances. Baloney! With developers given the “by right” ability to buy and demolish your neighbors house and build a 3 story replacement, they will be asking for the variance to build a 4-5 story one instead.

  6. study agenda 21. Don’t dismiss it, coming at us now from all directions.

  7. nothing for the people
    Apr 28, 2023, 5:30 pm

    There are a few political bamboozles. One is that by right will be fairly implemented. That is the biggest, I say, violation by the municipality. The next is that the city will measure the results. Is there a code mechanism to report it? Another is that they are still preying on R!C on the Fairview and Bench areas. Another is that we will ride the bus. Another is that car use is going down. Maybe 5 percent overall in the USA. And finally, that sprawl will stop. The city approves sprawl on a regular basis instead of asking for density. No affordability will increase.

    I am so sorry to see this. I think that if they would have just spent 5 years focusing of affordable housing, they would have better data and affordable housing.

    But the PZ has no life experience with this. The are thinking academy award for town I am proud of.

    They should write this plan by class of property or neighborhood by neighborhood.

    Development proposal by development proposal is instead the guide.

  8. Private Property Rights?
    All the righties are all about freedom and republicanism until their neighbor does something or anything contrary to what fuddy-duddy agrees with.

  9. Seems like it’s changing the rules in the middle of the game. On the other hand, you can’t expect the game to go on forever.

  10. Thank you for your reasoning, Katie. I moved here in June of 1970 with my husband (who had grown up in Nampa) and our children. The population at the time was 79,000 and Boise was such a lovely place to live. Now, it’s all changed and I think constantly about moving someplace else. My son and his family live here and I would miss them so much that I just hang in there. Why? Why did this happen to Boise? Even my grandchildren don’t plan on staying here much longer. Our ‘leaders’ don’t understand what they have done to us…

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