The following Press Release was sent out by Idahoans for Safe Technology. Note: Press Releases sent out by organizations do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of those at the Idaho Dispatch.
Boise’s Planning and Zoning Commission, following a public hearing held at its October 4, 2021 meeting, voted to recommend that the City Council NOT eliminate conditional use permitting and other existing public involvement processes from the City’s existing wireless ordinance.
After a public hearing of its own on November 30, 2021, members of the City Council instructed City staff to reject the Commission’s recommended changes to the proposed ordinance and for staff to return with additional revisions to the proposed ordinance for the Council’s consideration during its December 14, 2021 meeting.
In response to an inquiry from Idahoans for Safe Technology (IFST), City staff has indicated that no public hearing will be held on these substantial changes to the proposed ordinance, including the Council’s plan to reject the Planning and Zoning Commission’s recommendation to retain the conditional use and other public involvement processes that are currently contained in Boise’s existing wireless ordinance. This appears contrary to Idaho’s Local Land Use Planning Act, including Idaho Code Sections 67-6511 and 67-6509, which requires additional notice and a public hearing regarding the additional proposed changes, including the City Council’s plan to reject the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission.
Like the Planning and Zoning Commission, IFST is concerned with City’s staff’s proposal to remove the public from the process of siting most wireless communication facilities in the City of Boise – including residential areas. This drastic step is not necessary to “comply” with federal law. Conditional use permits and public involvement are allowed, but the City Council appears poised to jettison these protections, contrary to what the Planning and Zoning Commission recommended.
The public was able to weigh in on Boise’s proposed wireless ordinance and the P&Z Commission’s recommendations. The City Council has ignored the overwhelming public testimony and written comments that have been submitted, including a petition with over 1200 signatures. And now the Council is set to vote on amendments to the ordinance that would remove the public from the process – without notice of these changes to the public or an opportunity to comment at an additional public hearing. IFST is requesting that the public be involved in decisions that affect property rights, property values and the future and aesthetics of our beautiful City.
Tags: Boise, Boise City Council, Idahoans for Safe Technology, Planning and Zoning Commission