Together with the community, the City of Boise developed 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. The modern zoning code encourages 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. It brings an incredible opportunity 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 create vibrant, safe, unique neighborhoods where people 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.
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. The CAC was comprised of 20 residents who represented a dynamic group of community members across cultural backgrounds, genders, and technical and personal experiences. The group was also geographically representative of the city’s planning areas.
This committee served as a sounding board for ideas and questions raised throughout the Zoning Code Rewrite process. Members reviewed the draft updates and offered feedback that helped guide the direction of the new zoning code adopted by City Council. Opinions expressed by committee members were shared with the city’s elected and appointed officials. However, committee members did not vote or have veto power over proposed revisions recommended by city staff or the Project Management Team.
Throughout the years long process, we 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, wanting to be able to walk to a local coffee shop or neighborhood market, and the importance of choice in how they move about our city, whether it’s walking, biking, riding the bus or driving. With the help of community voices, these values are the core of our updated zoning code.
Review, Approval and Implementation
After incorporating myriads of written and spoken testimony from the community, the Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of the Zoning Code, thereby moving it to be heard by Boise City Council. A similar process was followed by Boise City Council, hearing community testimony, advising revisions and approving the zoning code effective December 1, 2023.
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