Big Sky Overlay

The purpose of the BC-O district is to:

(a) Preserve the large lots and open character of the Big Sky Neighborhood;
(b) Retain the rural personality of this unique location; and
(c) Encourage agrarian uses through more flexible standards to maintain, protect, and enhance land use and livability.

See more on Neighborhood Overlay Districts

Depiction of map showing Big Sky Neighborhood Overlay District Boundary highlighting included area from Edna north past Goldenrod parallel with Woodhaven, and from Shamrock to Columbine East to West.

Residential Standards


New residential buildings, additions to existing residential buildings, and detached outbuildings greater than 500 square feet or 15 feet in height shall be subject to the following setback standards:

A. Front setbacks as measured from the property line shall be 35 feet minimum, 85 feet maximum, and within five feet of the average setbacks of the adjacent properties.
B. Side and rear setbacks shall be a minimum of 20 feet from the property line.

Detached outbuildings with an area of up to 500 square feet and height less than 15 feet may have a reduced side and rear setbacks of 10 feet from the property line.

Enclosed Garage

Dwelling units, including each unit of a Duplex Dwelling, shall have an enclosed garage with an interior dimension of at least 20 feet wide by 20 feet long.

Entrances to Residential Units

Front doors of residential units shall face the street.

Duplex Dwelling Standards

Duplex Dwellings in the BC-O district shall be subject to the specific design criteria as per Section 11-03-03.2.G, Dwelling, Duplex, Triplex, or Fourplex and agricultural and setback standards described in Subsection (4), below.

Livestock Standards

The keeping of livestock and agricultural uses in the BC-O district shall be subject to the standards of Section 11-03-03.2.J, and the standards in this Section. Where the standards of this Section conflict with 11-03-03.2.J, this Section shall control.

Allowed Uses

The keeping of livestock, small animals, and similar or related agricultural uses are allowed in the BC-O district subject to the regulations of this Section.

Minimum Lot Area for Large Animals

A minimum lot area of one-half acre is required for large animals as defined in this Code.

Animal Reserve Area

A minimum area of one-half acre is required for the keeping and care of two animal units. Stables, paddocks, barns, and similar structures may be counted as part of the reserve area, but structures other than those related to the care of animals shall not be counted as part of the reserve area.

Minimum Lot Area and Location for Small Animals

No minimum lot area is required for keeping small animals as defined in this Code. All animal units and small animals shall be kept behind the front of the principal dwelling.

Animal Density Standards

The maximum animal density shall be two animal units per one-half acre of reserve area. Additional reserve areas shall be added in one-half acre increments to calculate the number of animal units allowed on a particular parcel.

The keeping of chickens in conjunction with the keeping of large animals is an exception to animal density standards. Up to six mature chickens may be kept simultaneously in addition to the large animals allowed per lot based on the density standard.

Setbacks and Enclosures

Concentrated feeding areas and buildings housing animals shall be located behind the front of the principal dwelling. Buildings for housing animals must also comply with the setback standards for the BC-O.

Livestock shall be kept within enclosures such that the livestock is prevented from encroaching on, and/or damaging, neighboring properties, fences, or vegetation or public streets. Enclosures may include but are not limited to fences, corrals, barns, and pens.

Best Management Practices (BMPs)

Best management practices (BMPs) are intended to protect surface and ground water quality and to avoid any adverse impact to wells, irrigation ditches, and other beneficial uses. A BMP is defined as a practice or combination of practices that are the most effective, practicable means of preventing or reducing the amount of pollution generated by non-point sources to a level compatible with water quality goals. The following BMPs shall be met:


Enclose one or more areas on the site with a permanent fence or structure to function as a barrier to livestock and other animals as needed in order to prevent access to and protect streams, canals, and ditches from trampling, erosion, and contamination.

Filter Strips for Steams, Canals, and Ditches

Maintain a gently sloping strip of ground over vegetation to filter runoff from that portion of the site occupied by animals. Filter strips shall distribute waste matter uniformly across the high end of the strip, allow waste to flow through and across the strip, and shall promote the filtering of nutrients, runoff water, and other materials through the grass in a manner so that they are absorbed by the soil and ultimately taken up by the plants.

Runoff Control System

Employ a combination of practices to prevent animal waste runoff to surface water and adjacent properties. Practices may include diversion of runoff from the lot, roof runoff systems, lot shaping, settling basins, and filter strips or buffer areas.

Liquid and Solid Waste Management System

Employ a system for managing liquid and solid waste in a manner that:

(i) Ensures fecal matter and other solid wastes do not create or promote nuisances, odors, or disease-carrying insects and animals; and
(ii) Does not degrade air, soil, or water resources. The appropriate system shall typically include the frequent spreading of liquid and solid waste, composting of manures, and off-site disposal.

Additional BMPs shall be required if those listed above are shown to be ineffective. If a resident does not properly maintain or use BMPs, then the resident shall immediately cease the keeping of animals. The owner or resident can consult the following agencies for additional technical assistance:

A. Ada Soil Conservation District.
B. Natural Resources Conservation Service.
C. Idaho Soil Conversation Commission.
D. University of Idaho Extension Service.
E. Boise City Public Works Department.

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