Zoning Code Rewrite - FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I be involved?

The city will be providing a robust public participation effort throughout the entire process. This effort will include a series of workshops, webinars, open houses, surveys and other public engagement activities that will provide multiple opportunities to learn, review and provide comment on the new zoning code. 

Individuals interested in routine updates can also join our email list using the form above.

Why Now?

The existing zoning code is outdated, as it was created over 55 years ago. Our city has changed significantly throughout time, and so have the planning tools we use and rely on to preserve what makes Boise special and improve our city as it grows.

A new zoning code is necessary to successfully implement the comprehensive plan, Blueprint Boise. The new zoning code will also shape a clear path forward to preserve the aspects of Boise that make it special, while also serving the needs of our city today and into the future.

How will this project help our city?

This project will:

  • Make the zoning code more user-friendly,
  • Provide clear objectives for development projects within the City of Boise,
  • Encourage the enhancement and revitalization of activity centers by creating compact, walkable development patterns, and
  • Promote original and high-quality building and site designs that will enhance the character and function of Boise’s streets while fitting into the context of established neighborhoods.

How long will this project take?

Staff began working on the project in November 2019 and expanded the scope of involvement and engagement on the project after hearing from community members. With the project formally beginning in Fall 2020, the process to create the new zoning code is anticipated to occur in five phases over two or more years.

An overview of the five phases of the project is highlighted below:

  • Phase One: Organization
    A work plan, public engagement plan and a project schedule will be formally developed to lay the foundation for the development of the new zoning code.
  • Phase Two: Assessment and Preliminary Outreach
    After reviewing the existing planning documents and a robust public input process, the consultant will produce a final assessment of the zoning ordinance. This report will provide a detailed analysis of the current zoning code's strengths and weaknesses with recommendations to be included in the updated zoning code in order to assist the City achieve its identified goals.
  • Phase Three: Zoning Ordinance Development
    The consultant will work with the City to draft the new zoning code in three installments, each available for review and comment by the public:
    1. Zone Districts and Permitted Forms and Uses
    2. Development, Design Quality and Incentives
    3. Procedures and Administration
  • Phase Four: Public Review of Draft Ordinance
    A series of workshops, open houses, comment cards and other public engagement activities will provide multiple opportunities to review and provide comment on the new zoning code.
  • Phase Five: Revision and Adoption
    Final revisions and adjustments will be incorporated into the draft zoning code and will be taken to the Boise City Planning and Zoning Commission and the Boise City Council for consideration and adoption.

What is a Comprehensive Plan?

The Comprehensive Plan is a master plan designed to provide a clear and sustainable vision for the future that will guide the City of Boise as it makes future decisions.

Learn MORE

Boise's Comprehensive Plan

What is a Zoning Code?

The zoning code is a system of land use regulations and tools used to successfully implement the City of Boise’s comprehensive plan, Blueprint Boise, and designates:

  • the permitted or prohibited use of buildings and land,
  • the density (the number of units per acre) of development,
  • the height and size of buildings and other structures,
  • the design standards of building and sites regarding streetscaping, landscaping and architectural features,
  • the area of the lot which may be occupied and
  • the size of required open spaces.

Learn about Zoning Basics

Boise's Development Code (Title 11)

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