The review process for all hearing-level applications are the same regardless of which decision-making body is evaluating the project. The project scope will determine which decision-making body will approve the project.
After application submittal, a planner will be assigned to conduct an in-depth review of the application to ensure compliance with the zoning code and the needs of any applicable department or partner agency. When the review is complete, the planning team will schedule the project for the next available hearing.
Public site postings are required for all projects being decided by a hearing body.
At the public hearing, the deciding body will make one of three decisions:
- Approved - the applicant can proceed with development.
- Approved with changes - the applicant can proceed with development with determined alterations to their plans.
- Denied - the applicant may not proceed with development; they may appeal the decision or adjust the project and reapply.
The Hearing Examiner is a new role supporting the planning and development review and approval in the City of Boise. They are professionally trained attorney or planner with land use experience or training and is approved by the Mayor and City Council for the role of acting as a legal review of administrative decision by the planning department. The Hearing Examiner will hold a minimum of one hearing per month, which will hear:
- Variance-only applications.
- Appeals for most projects that are decided through the administrative process of the Planning and Development Services Department.
The Hearing Examiner acts as the sole decision maker – applications do not continue to any other decision-making body once ruled by the Hearing Examiner.
More information on the Hearing Examiner coming soon!
Design Review Commission
The Design Review Commission (DRC) reviews multi-family residential, commercial, office and industrial projects. Their oversight includes architecture, landscaping, and site design. Their review is limited to projects that have allowed uses or have been previously approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission. Any Design Review Commission decision can be appealed to the Boise City Council.
Historic Preservation Commission
Boise's charm can be traced back to the Oregon Trail, and that character is important to preserve. The Historic Preservation Commission presides over any decisions that impact any of the Historic Character Overlay Districts through the Certificate of Appropriateness applications.
Planning and Zoning Commission
The Planning and Zoning Commission oversees and renders decisions on land use applications to ensure the planning for the future growth and development of the community aligns with our citywide goals. The Planning and Zoning Commission makes the final decision on allowed uses with alternative forms, conditional use permits (CUP), planned unit developments (PUD) modifications, and makes recommendations to City Council on annexations and rezones, zoning code and comprehensive plan amendments, and subdivisions.
The Boise City Council is the final legislative authority on zoning and land use decisions. They make decisions on rezones, subdivisions, and amendments to the ordinance and comprehensive plan based on recommendations from the Planning and Zoning Commission and Historic Preservation Commission. They also review appeals from Design Review Commission, Historic Preservation Commission and Planning and Zoning Commission.
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