Planning Process Overview

The new zoning code includes a new process that ensures applicants have early assistance from staff and continued support as they work through the planning process. Early collaboration creates a more consistent and smooth process for the applicant and staff to reduce costly changes and ensure best results for everyone.

Click through each step of the process below for specific information.

Getting Started

Every project starts with an idea. Once the idea starts to formulate, it's a good time to reach out to the planning department to get the support needed to start the project out on the best foot, with the best information. No formalized documentation is required to begin, in fact it is preferred to initiate the first step beforehand.

Step 1 - Start for All Applicants

This process is designed to provide focused support in the early phases of a project to help ensure that the applicant has the resources and guidance from the beginning. All applicants start with the same two steps, Early Assistance and Concept Review.

Early Assistance

A city planner will aid in the very early stages of your concept to get started with the most current information and support. All applications begin with Early Assistance.

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Concept Review

This is the first review with the planning team with preliminary plans and documents. This step is also required for all applicants before proceeding based on project type.

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Knowing Your Project Type

By the time Concept Review is completed, the planning team will have formulated an understanding of the project and categorized the project as Administrative or Hearing-Level based on the specific applications that will be required for the project. These project types determine the next steps the applicant will take.

Following Early Assistance and Concept Review, some Administrative projects will proceed to submitting the application, which will be made available to the applicant. Hearing-level projects require a few more steps before submittal.

Below are some of the most common applications in each group but is not an exhaustive list. For more information on other applications, please contact the Planning Department.

Administrative Applications - 

  • Floodplain Permit
  • Home Occupation Permit for Family Daycare Home
  • Record of Survey
  • Sign Permit for On-Premise Sign
  • Temporary Sign Permit
  • Temporary Use Permit
  • Zoning Certificate
  • Zoning Compliance Review

Hearing-Level Applications - 

  • Annexation of Land and Related Zoning Map Amendment
  • Certificate of Appropriateness - Major
  • Code Adoption or Amendment
  • Comprehensive Plan Adoption or Amendment
  • Design Review - Major
  • Development Agreement or Modification
  • Floodplain Variance
  • Hillside Development Permit - Category 3
  • Major Historic Preservation Actions
  • Residential Small Lot Approval - Major
  • Subdivision Plat
  • Variance

Step 2 - Determined by Project Type

Submit Applications

Most administrative applications are submitted at this stage and all fees are paid. Applications that are processed administratively, but could benefit from review by other agencies, may require Interdepartmental Review prior to submittal.

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Community Reviews

Hearing-level applications have a few additional review steps based on the complexity and scale of these projects. They require a Neighborhood Review and an Interdepartmental Review before proceeding to submittal.

Neighborhood Review

Interdepartmental Review

Submit Applications

Step 3 - Review and Decision

Administrative Review

Administrative applications are reviewed by staff and have a Planning Director approval.

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Hearing-Level Review

Hearing-level applications require review in front of one or more hearing bodies for a recommendation or a decision. The hearing bodies include the Hearing Examiner, Historic Preservation Commission, Design Review Commission, Planning and Zoning Commission and Boise City Council.

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