Idaho Dispatch

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Boise City Council Votes Unanimously to Update Boise Zoning Code

By • June 15, 2023

The Boise City Council voted unanimously in favor of new zoning code regulations during a special meeting after three days of testimony, information, and discussion.

Mayor Lauren McLean participated in the proceedings, but did not cast a vote. The six members of the Council – President Holli Woodings, President Pro Tem Jimmy Hallyburton, Member Latonia Haney Keith, Member Colin Nash, Member Luci Willits, and Member Patrick Bageant – all voted to change the ordinances pertaining to future development of Boise.

The special meeting agenda contained only the zoning changes:

1. ZOA23-00001 / City of Boise / Zoning Ordinance Amendment of Boise City Code Title 11 and the adoption of a new Zoning Map.
2. CPA23-00001 / City of Boise / A Comprehensive Plan Amendment with text changes to ensure the comprehensive plan accurately reflects the new zoning districts

2023-06-15 City Council - Public Agenda-5226

Much of the discussion was on affordable housing, increasing the ability to walk and bike around Boise, aiming for a “car-free lifestyle,” diversity of citizens, and mixed-income housing options.

A group called Boise Working Together (BWT) funded a project called Reject Boise Upzone! The group protested at City Hall on June 10. Their Facebook page explained the purpose of the rally was to,

“….tell the Mayor and City Council that the proposed changes tilt the balance of power too far in favor of developers, investors, and the entire growth industry while sacrificing Boiseans’ quality of life and ability to have a say about how our own community grows!”

photo courtesy of Daniel Murphy

Many of the people who protested over the weekend attended the Council meetings wearing the bright yellow tee shirts and testified against the new zoning regulations. Dave Kangas, pictured here, leads BWT and Reject Boise Upzone.

photo by David Pettinger of Idaho Dispatch

The group voiced several concerns about the new zoning proposals. Two of them addressed on their website include,

“Two members of our six-member city council were appointed by the mayor in April 2023 and not elected by public vote. It is undemocratic to allow this city council to vote on such a wide-reaching and long-lasting zoning code change.”


“Smaller minimum lot sizes, increased building heights, and reduced parking requirements the Upzone proposes are not compatible with most of our existing neighborhoods or the goals of Blueprint Boise.

Reducing the minimum lot size from 5,000 square feet to 3,500 square feet in R1-C zones will encourage the demolition of perfectly good homes to allow lot splits.”

After hearing from all interested parties, the Council members spoke very favorably of the changes.

“There are so many great things that this plan will do…. The decisions I’m making tonight are 100% based off the kids in our community.” -President Pro Tem Hallyburton

Council Member Willits said during her remarks,

“We need lots of different kinds of housing. Choice is fundamental to the American way… We should give citizens every kind of choice possible…. Are we reducing red tape? Are we allowing the market to innovate?… Are we helping private property owners to invest in Boise families? When I look at this overall, the answer is yes to all of those.”

Council Member Nash added,

“This is pretty damn good. I’m proud to be casting a vote in favor of it.”


Idaho Dispatch published opinion editorials regarding this topic in March 2023. You can find those here:

Op-Ed: Is The City Of Boise Poised To Become A 15 Minute City? – Idaho Dispatch

Op-Ed: Stop Boise’s Modern Zoning Code – Idaho Dispatch

Op-Ed: Comments Needed on Boise’s Zoning Rewrite – Idaho Dispatch


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Tags: Affordable housing, Boise City Council, Boise Mayor Lauren McLean, Boise Working Together, Colin Nash, Comprehensive Plan, Dave Kangas, Development, High Density Housing, Holli Woodings, Jimmy Hallyburton, Latonia Haney Keith, Luci Willits, Ordinance, Patrick Bageant, Planning and Zoning, Upzone Boise, Zoning

44 thoughts on “Boise City Council Votes Unanimously to Update Boise Zoning Code

  1. It’s a sad thing to see the citizenry continue to vote in ignorant/agenda driven leadership and ultimately watch what was once a beautiful city being rapidly destroyed.

    1. I happen to believe that the actual ignorance was displayed by the citizenry who voted the council members into the positions they hold. And I also feel that “leadership” doesn’t include advancing to the rear as opposed to keeping Boise a beautiful city. I agree with you in that the sad outcomes of those appointments are resulting in the slow, inexorable destruction of our beautiful city.

      What an absolute shame unfolding before our eyes…:-(

  2. Boise has just voted to create the density of large cities using the Smart Growth Plan that was instigated in our larger crime riden citiessuch as Portland, Seattle and San Francisco. Thank you for destroying Boise. I am sure that history will glare at your decision.

    1. No one was paid off by anyone. Your comment/ question is always the first, knee-jerk comment made out of complete ignorance and no desire to become informed. Everyone on the council voted according to how they’re “wired” and you are obviously wired differently, as am I. You just cannot seem to be able to understand another’s viewpoint. In our Republic it is incumbent on those in upshot to work harder than the other guy and make changes that benefit everyone. The far left and far right around here cannot seem to be able to do that and wind up governing to the fringes, with little if any compromise. The city council in Boise is as great an example of this in their own right as the Idaho legislature is in theirs.

      1. Someone got paid . Let the investigations begin. The overwhelming GOP legislature will start its investigations and hold accountable the investors that paid off the members vote. Starts now.

      2. Yeah lol Im sure none of the contractors building these high rises has contributed any money to these politicians.

    1. indeed. We have a politician and government employee crime gang destroying this nation and state. But we keep reelecting the criminals.

  3. How sad to see Boise taken over by the same left winged, short sighted people who will send Boise into the abyss that other crime ridden cities are immersed in. Boise has changed from the wonderful city that attracted our family. Another San Francisco without the Bay. So called “do gooders” who want to pull us all down into the morass of crime and lethargy which has overtaken Seattle and Portland, once precious gems of habitability/habitation

    1. It is almost comical their obsession with diversity in a state which is like what, 90% white?

      But of course all of their agendas are completely insane and designed that way. We’re not supposed to understand it, we’re just supposed to blindly follow it.

    2. What’s REALLY screwed up?

      That these “two-legged locusts” RAN AWAY from their former cities – all because of the very same PROBLEMS they, themselves, helped to create. And NOW – “they” want the same for OUR local communities as well? ? ?

      What ever happened to: “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”? ? ?

      I never did appreciate “trashy people”, especially those who insist that their wealth gives them license to trash OUR communities as well!

  4. This Rezone is in conjunction with MANY other cities performing the very same rezonings. This is not some kind of singular community crafted plan. This is a collective plan using the very same tools designed for the ultimate people management goals outlined in C40 and Agenda 2030/2050 concepts dreamed up by WEF types. Affordability is NOT the goal for housing….lifestyle culture shaping is the goal. The homeless will still be homeless. The working poor will still be living with their parents or paying sky high rents.
    Garages are going to be phased out of all multi-fam dwellings and later I expect codes to change for single-fam homes to exclude parking for them too.
    It is essential that NEW leadership be elected to the entire council and all P&Z staff be removed and the rezones be reversed.

    1. Garages mean private vehicles and the freedom to move from place to place that entails. And we can’t have that! We need to make owning your own transportation as oppressive and expensive as possible, which is why we support limited-range electric vehicles we can control!

      And don’t forget that you’re going to love our new menus! Bugs are a healthy alternative to animal protein!

      – Klaus Schwab and all my friends at the WEF

      1. 100% spot on.

        And of course, the powers that be running the show will still fly around in private jets and fleets of SUVs. Because, they are smarter than us, at least that’s what most of the population (sheeple) believe.

        They conditioned everyone well when they all went maskless but require everyone else to wear them, even in the same room. When will people get it? Probably when it’s too late.

          1. You’ve obviously had zero experience with how our local elections are run and couldn’t be more misinformed.

          2. Uh, “Kent”,

            It doesn’t do any good to deny the obvious!

            Some of us here, have lived here enough years to see it all – right before our eyes. You going to try to tell us that “we didn’t really see what we thought we saw”, next? ? ?

            I wouldn’t be at all surprised that “our elections” have been manipulated for a great many years. Just nowadays, it is all becoming more obvious – because the over-confident are getting sloppy – and simply believe no one will ever notice anyway!

  5. Boise will be a WEF 15-minute city, and destroyed just like Austin, SF, Chicago, Portland, and Seattle, with communist implementation.

    Along with 15-minute cities comes facial and gait recognition (already being debuted at Boise Airport, I have discovered), and digital currency. With digital currency comes personal credit scores. And that is the absolute end of any last morsel of freedom anyone has.

    Anyone look at the state of Democrat-run cities these days? Crime-addled with businesses shuttering up daily. These new 15-minute cities will have government-run stores, so you don’t have to worry about that. They won’t employ anyone, they’ll all be electronically run.

    There is no doubt that the WEF crew are targeting smaller cities like Boise in order to create their models, which is why we go first. Thank you to all who protested this.

  6. “For the kids”. ok…Being from the “Left Coast”, and having lived in 2C, Nampa in the Seventies, what i can think is “here we go again”. The socio-political Ideologues you are dealing with are deaf to views that don’t fall in line with national and probably international, party and special interest agenda, and the money that these powerful orgs and political bodies provide for obedience is the carrot on the stick. Political theater, “bread and circus” is window dressing designed to fabricate an appearance of “humanitarianism”. Nothing about these individuals and their agenda could be farther from that lofty acquisition. If you want to peek behind the curtain of Idaho’s future, look to California, Oregon, and Washington, then VOTE like you mean it and sadly, get out and become as organized and active socio-politically as the enemies of freedom and have become, they aren’t going away. “The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants and it provides the further advantage of giving the servants of tyranny a good conscience”
    A. Camus

    1. You nailed it! Boise is in serious trouble as well as the state of idaho. People need to wake up!!! Idaho has been targeted with an agenda to completely transform it. Aka destroy it. Think of it as a parasite needing a host and Idaho is the host.

      1. I see the “fruits” everyday where I am at.

        The “English-as-a-second-language” class across the street from me – sees a LOT of “business”.

        MOST of these new, very LARGE apartment complexes are going towards our future “replacements”.

        There again,

        No one wants to be reminded of the obvious!

  7. CCP owned and developed ‘sovereign’ communities complete with an international airport, massive wind and solar farms, and MORE !
    Yepper, Idaho has been discovered ……..

  8. It’s the same as on a national scale. The left does not fear conservatives. Until conservatives unite and start acting out like the leftist loonies by getting in their faces, protesting in front of their houses, chasing them from restaurants and so on, they will continue to shove their agenda down our throats. They want us living atop each other as a means to control people. Wake up and take action or do like we did and buy a few acres and escape the jungles.

  9. One to think about, many years back 1 income, one family, and a nice place. then 2 incomes, 1 family, and a nice place. then 2 incomes, pile of overtime for both, 1 kind of a family, and a ok place. now 2 incomes, a pile of overtime, 1 kind of a family, and one hell of a payment for a 3rd of the place. and now we are going to cut this almost in half so maybe someone can buy a place.
    My biggest question to all the people that vote, defend, and agree with this ask yourself? What is next for your children?
    Bully barn living in the backyard with a outhouse and don’t forget the feast of tonight, maggot stew!
    Man o man that’s going to be living.

    1. In some places,

      It’s over $1400 / month – for less than a six hundred sq. ft. living space.

      My small apartment complex is one of them! – THIS, after being bought up by a huge Californian “Investment Fund” about two years ago.

  10. Well, well, well!

    Another “local chapter of the Great Reset” being shoved down our collective throats!

    By far – there are MORE multi-family apartment complexes going up – than single-family houses with yards! Seeing this all over the Treasure Valley, not just Boise.

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