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Taken through the Boise Working Together webpage

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Boise Zoning Code Rewrite

TAKE ACTION: Join your fellow Boiseans to reject the Upzone. Use the contact form below to show your support.

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  • Did you know that the City of Boise is currently rewriting our Zoning Code? The proposed code will allow for higher density new development and redevelopment of existing lots, a practice commonly referred to as "Upzoning."

  • Reject Boise Upzone opposes the proposed code as currently written.

  • Reject Boise Upzone supports public planning that protects homeowners, renters, the integrity and stability of our neighborhoods, and Boise’s unique environment and quality of life. We seek a community-led, consensus-driven zoning code that protects neighborhoods while accommodating compatible growth and change. The code should promote true affordable housing and effective anti-displacement programs. New development must not overburden infrastructure. 

  • We are building a strong, diverse coalition across Boise to promote land-use zoning that benefits all of the city’s residents, not just developers.

  • Since 2020—during COVID—the City has held public meetings seeking input on proposed changes to the Zoning Code. Were you aware of this? Now is the time for Boise residents to engage in this process to ensure proposed zoning changes consider current Boise residents and the quality of life in their neighborhoods.

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WE ARE HERE!

  • The proposed upzoning will increase housing density by permitting many existing single lots to be split, allowing increased building heights (40+ ft), and requiring less parking (for example, 1 spot for a 3-bedroom condo!) in most residential zones in Boise.

  • The upzone will encourage the demolition of existing homes and will redistribute ownership to large investors who can afford to do this type of redevelopment.  

Lots that can be spit (red lots) under today's code

Lots that could be spit (red lots) under the Upzone, encouraging demolition of existing homes and "by-right" 4-story luxury condos

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Image above shows a Boise neighborhood in the R1-C Zone. The picture on the left shows lots that can be spit (red parcels) under today's code. The image on the right shows how almost every lot could be spit (red parcels) under the proposed upzone. How will this not dramatically change who can afford to live in this area after redevelopment maximizes investment return (i.e. more expensive homes are built and higher rents charged)?

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  • The proposed Zoning Code expands the uses allowed by administrative approval—with reduced public involvement— for such developments as triplexes, fourplexes, neighborhood retail sales, neighborhood cafe (that serves alcohol), and 12-guest bed and breakfasts. These housing options need to prioritize people actually living in Boise and not just large investors maximizing revenue through rent manipulation, short-term rentals, or neighborhood retail sales and cafe's. 

  • Upzoning will increase property values, making it even harder for Boise residents to become homeowners as they compete with large investors. Property taxes, already a growing burden for homeowners, will increase as well (please watch videos below).

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This graph shows the increase in land value of 2 acres in Garden City, currently providing affordable housing for 20 manufactured homes. Can you guess what year investors started redeveloping adjacent properties into higher priced rentals? That's right, 2018 and property values since then have increased 92%! Upzoning will do the same to Boise neighborhoods, inevitably displacing locals as investors redevelop properties.

Redevelopment Begins

  • Renters will be displaced as existing affordable rental housing is demolished for new higher density housing, only a small percentage of which will likely be affordable for those with modest incomes. Don't believe us? See graph below.

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  • The graph below shows lower rental prices in Ballard, a suburb of Seattle, before redevelopment (blue bars) compared to higher rental prices after the upzone (red bars). Watch "False Promises" video below for more information about how upzoning has changed Ballard.

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Please watch videos below on how Upzoning is monetizing neighborhoods for redevelopment

Well this one sums it up! Watch the False Promise of UpZoning in Seattle (7 mins)

Extremely well made video of the UpZoning battle in Austin, Texas.

Great video about impacts of UpZoning in Olympia, WA

Steps to know how the proposed Zoning Code may affect you:

  1. Find what proposed zone (i.e. R1-C, R2, etc.) your property will be located in by using this interactive map found at the City of Boise website: Zoning Code Rewrite (arcgis.com)

  2. Find what new "allowed uses" will be allowed ("by right") in your neighborhood and that will not require neighborhood engagement. See Table 11-03.1 on page 133 for your zone ("A" means it's an Allowed Use) of the proposed Zoning Code Rewrite: https://www.cityofboise.org/media/15920/boise-zoning-code-consolidated-draft_public-draft.pdf

  3. Find your new minimum lot area of your Proposed Zone (Table 11-04.2, page 202). For instance, the minimum lot area in R1-C is 3,500 square feet (3,500/43,560 = 0.08 acres).  Then go to the Ada County Assessor website (Ada County Assessor) and use the interactive map to see what homes near you could be divided into two or more parcels for re-development. For instance, in the R1-C zone, any lot 7,000 square feet (0.16 acres) or larger could be split into two lots. (Note: email us if you need assistance with this process)

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