Sycamore Overlay

The purpose of the SC-O district is to preserve and encourage land use and development that is consistent with the semi-rural, agricultural character and lifestyle of the Sycamore neighborhood while promoting the public health, safety, and general welfare of present and future residents of the neighborhood and Boise City.

More on Neighborhood Overlay Districts

Depiction of Sycamore Neighborhood Overlay District Boundary Map highlighting the included area South of Catalpa and North of Taft from Sycamore to 39th from West to East.

Specific Standards


Excluding lots fronting 39th, Catalpa, and Taft Streets, the required setback for buildings and parking areas on vacant or undeveloped lots is determined by the average setback of the primary building on the two abutting lots facing the same street. The required setback shall not be less than 20 feet or greater than 40 feet. Additions to existing buildings in the SC-O district are also subject to this setback standard.

Agricultural Standards

The keeping of livestock, small animals, and similar or related agricultural uses shall be subject to the generally applicable use standards of Section 11-03-03.2.J, and the standards in this Section (b). Where the standards of this Section (b) conflict with the generally applicable standards, this Section (b) shall control.

Allowed Uses

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

Minimum Lot Size

A minimum lot or parcel size of 21,780 square feet (one-half acre) is required for large animals as defined in this Code. The area of the lot or parcel used for any human dwelling shall be included when computing the one-half acre minimum lot size needed to qualify for large animals.

Animal Reserve Area

A minimum animal reserve area of 10,890 square feet (one-quarter acre) is required for the keeping and care of large animals. 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.

Area for Small Animals

No minimum lot area is required for keeping small animals as defined in this Code, although small animals are subject to the animal density standards. All small animals as defined shall be kept behind the front of the principal dwelling.

Animal Density Standards

The maximum animal density for large animals shall be one animal unit per one-quarter acre of reserve area. The reserve area shall be used to calculate the allowed number of large animals allowed on a particular parcel. For reserve areas larger than one-quarter acre, the one animal unit per one-quarter acre ratio shall be applied to determine the allowed number of animals. Shared reserve areas on adjacent lots may be added to the owner's reserve area to calculate the number of large animals allowed on the owner's lot.

The maximum animal density for small animals shall be one animal unit per one-quarter acre of land area behind the front of the principal dwelling. The area used for calculating the allowed number of small animals shall not include land occupied by any building not used for housing the animals. For areas of land different from one-quarter acre, the one animal unit per one-quarter acre ratio shall be applied to determine the allowed number of animals.

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

No more than one rooster shall be kept on any single parcel, regardless of the size of the parcel.

Site Plan

As deemed necessary, the Planning Director may require the owner or resident to submit a site plan, subject to approval, for the purpose of determining the amount of land available on a particular site for the keeping of animals pursuant to the standards of this Section.

Setbacks for Concentrated Feeding Areas, Buildings, and Pasture and Reserve Areas

Concentrated feeding areas and buildings housing animals shall be located behind the front of the principal dwelling and a minimum of 10 feet from all property lines. Fully enclosed buildings shall comply with the setback standards for the base zoning district and, therefore, may in some cases be set back less than 10 feet from the property line. Pasture or reserve areas shall be located behind the front of the principal dwelling and may otherwise be located at the side and rear property line.

District Perimeter Setback

Animal reserve areas for large animals shall be set back a minimum of 30 feet from any residential lot located outside the SC-O district.

Enclosures Required

Livestock shall be kept within enclosures that prevent animals from encroaching on neighboring properties or public streets. Enclosures may include, but are not limited to fences, corrals, barns, or pens.

Best Management Practices (BMPs)

The owner or resident shall use Best Management Practices (BMPs) to protect surface and ground water quality and to avoid any adverse impact to wells 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. Any owner or resident intending to keep livestock and other animals pursuant to this Section shall implement the following BMPs:

A. Fencing
Enclose one or more areas on the site as needed with a permanent fence or structure to function as a barrier to livestock and other animals to prevent access to and protect streams, canals, and ditches from trampling, erosion, and contamination.
B. Filter Strips for Streams, Canals, and Ditches
Maintain a gently sloping strip of ground cover vegetation to filter runoff from the portion of the site occupied by animals. Filter strips shall distribute waste matter uniformly across the high end of the strip and allow waste to flow through and across the strip and shall promote the filtering of nutrients, runoff water, and other material through the grass so that they can be absorbed by the soil and ultimately taken up by the plants.
C. 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.
D. Liquid and Solid Waste Management System
Employ a system for managing liquid and solid waste in a manner that:
a) ensures fecal matter and other solid wastes do not create or promote nuisances, odors, and disease-carrying insects or animals, and b) 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

Additional BMPs shall be required if those BMPs listed above are shown to be ineffective. The owner or resident can consult the following agencies for additional technical assistance:

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

Periodic Assessment

At three year intervals, the residents and property owners in the SC-O district and the Planning Director shall assess the impact and effectiveness of the standards of this Section in protecting residents and owners of the district and those outside the district from unwanted impacts.

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