Together with the community, the City of Boise is developing a modern zoning code to make sure the future design and development of our city protects the character we love and creates more walkable, dynamic spaces for everyone. A modern zoning code will encourage a variety of housing types so Boiseans can find homes that fit their needs and their budget, protect our parks open spaces and pave the way for more pathways and transportation options so Boiseans can choose to walk, bike, bus or drive to the places they need to go.
A Modern Zoning Code
Updating the Development Code to Shape Boise's Future
Creating a City for Everyone
Boise is at a time of growth and change, and while change can often cause us to worry, it is also an incredible opportunity to come together, to be deliberate and intentional about how we grow so we can protect the things we love. When Boiseans come together, we do great things – protect our foothills and open spaces, care for one another in times of need, support local businesses and homegrown innovation, and provide vibrant, safe, unique neighborhoods where folks live, work and play.
A modern code will protect the character of our unique neighborhoods and create opportunities for small businesses, pathways and homes at Boise prices across our city.
A modern code encourages building homes along transportation corridors so Boiseans can choose how they move around our city whether by foot, bike, bus or car.
A modern code makes more housing types possible, so our kids can return home to start their lives in the place they grew up, our aging parents can downsize and stay close to friends and family and our workforce can find housing at Boise prices.
After three days of public testimony, Boise City Council unanimously approved the Modern Zoning Code on June 15, 2023 and made several changes based on community feedback. The changes are described in general terms below and the full draft code with the new language will be available in the coming weeks.
- Implement the code with an effective date of December 1, 2023.
- Modify conditional use permit (CUP) findings to include the word "and" as seen in the presentation.
- Increase long-term bike parking to one bicycle parking space for the first bedroom, and .5 parking spaces for each additional bedroom.
- Add neighborhood transition standards for the Compact Residential (R-2) and Residential Urban (R-3) zones.
- Include all proposed changes identified with the April 13 and June 1 Planning and Development Services memos.
- Allow Class III trees in an 8 ft planter strip along streets.
- Allow Class II trees under overhead powerlines when sufficient height exists.
- Provide public notice for Type 2 applications to adjacent property owners at the approval stage.
- Increase neighborhood association testimony time to ten minutes for the neighborhood associations that are located within the notification radius.
- Decouple sustainability and affordability requirements within the incentives.
- Create a new use for electrical substations and allow them through the conditional use permitting process in all zones.
- Include language that requires all improvements to be completed in a timely fashion and not exceed one year after occupancy/subdivision/etc.
- Allow all sizes of childcare/daycare facilities in the mixed-use zones by right.
- Allow for a parking reduction to be obtained through a conditional use permit.
- Change the on-site and off-site digital signs (billboards) to have a minimum 8 second dwell time, adjusted from the proposed 20 second dwell time.
- Amend the accessory dwelling unit (ADU) standards to not require parking, remove the requirement for owner occupancy, and remove the affordability requirement.
- Reduce the length of deed restriction for affordability incentives from 50 years to 20 years.
After completing three readings in front of Boise City Council, Planning and Development Services will bring forward minor amendments to the code in November 2023. The new code will be effective December 1, 2023 and staff will return to City Council one year from the effective date to evaluate the effectiveness and make appropriate amendments.
How We Got Here
Creating a Modern Zoning Code
The process was broken into three phases (modules), with community outreach at the center of each phase. We explored tools to create developments that better preserve and enhance community character, integrate with existing neighborhoods and support our city’s long-term vision and goals.
Citywide Advisory Committee
A Citywide Advisory Committee (CAC) made up of diverse community members worked hand in hand with the city to create a modern code that reflects Boise’s values.
Over the last three years, we’ve asked residents how they envision Boise's future, what they value about our community and what they want more, or less, of. We listened to feedback at community conversations, open houses, through surveys and stakeholder meetings, and one-on-one conversations with our most underrepresented community members.
Time and time again, we heard our residents talk about their values: making sure new growth and development is sustainable, water conscious and protects our open spaces. We heard residents talk about struggles with housing affordability and that people want to be able to walk to a local coffee shop or neighborhood market and choose how they move about our city, whether it’s walking, biking, riding the bus or driving. With your help, these values are the core of our updated zoning code.
Send a Message to Planning
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