Chapter 4

Street Names And Addresses

7-4-1: Short Title


This chapter shall be known as and cited as the BOISE CITY UNIFORM STREET NAME AND ADDRESS NUMBER ORDINANCE. (1952 Code § 9-06-01)

7-4-2: Purpose


This chapter is adopted for the purpose of providing proper implementation, administration and enforcement of a uniform street name and address number grid system to assist the public, public safety and emergency services providers in the consistent identification of roadways and property addresses. This chapter shall apply to all lands within the corporate limits of the City and areas of City impact. (1952 Code § 9-06-02)

7-4-3: Definitions


For the purpose of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words and derivations shall have the meanings given herein. The word "shall" is always mandatory and not merely directory.

ASSOCIATION: Ada Planning Association.

COMMITTEE: The Ada County Street Name Committee. An advisory group composed of the Ada County engineer, association representative, Boise City Fire Department representative, a department representative and a district representative.

COUNCIL: Boise City Council.

CUL-DE-SAC: A dead end street or road with a turnaround space at its terminus.

DEPARTMENT: Department of Public Works of Boise City.

DISTRICT: Ada County Highway District.

OFFICIAL ADDRESS NUMBER MAP: The map or maps showing all the streets within Boise City with the official address number grid systems and address numbers maintained by the department or its designee.

OFFICIAL STREET NAME LIST: The list containing the official street names within Boise City composed of all street names as may be approved by the Council and filed with and maintained by the department or its designee.

OFFICIAL STREET NAME MAP: The map or maps showing all the streets within Boise City with the official name shown thereon as may be approved by the Council and filed with and maintained by the department or its designee.

PERSON: Any individual, firm, copartnership, association or corporation.

PLAT: Subdivision plat.

STREET: A right-of-way providing vehicular and pedestrian access to adjacent properties and includes the terms street, drive, court, road, way, avenue, boulevard, place and other such terms. (1952 Code § 9-06-03)

7-4-4: Approvals Required


A. Street Names: Before any street is named, approval for the name shall be obtained from the Council upon recommendation from the committee. Official street names shall be maintained on an Official Street Name Map and official street name list on file with the department or its designee.


B. Address Numbers: Before any grid system is established for the purpose of assigning address numbers, or before any existing grid system is changed, it must be approved by the Council upon recommendation from the department or its designee. All official grid systems shall be shown on the Official Address Number Map maintained by the department or its designee. (1952 Code § 9-06-04)

7-4-5: Designation Of Street Names


A. Official List: The Council shall establish an official street name list and thereafter all new streets shall be established in accordance with the same general standards hereinafter set forth.


B. Duplication: There shall be no duplication of street names by sound or spelling. Differentiation shall not be by the addition of suffixes, such as road, street or lane.


C. Future Street Dedications: Names for future street dedications may be suggested by the person or agency proposing the street dedication subject to provisions of this chapter. The Council, upon recommendation of the department and/or the committee, shall determine what constitutes a separate street.


D. Suffixes: The following suffixes shall be used in designating street names:

1. Street: An east-west street generally running in a straight line.

2. Avenue: A north-south street generally running in a straight line.

3. Drive: A street generally meandering in an east-west direction.

4. Way: A street generally meandering in a north-south direction.

5. Court: An east-west dead end cul-de-sac street intersecting a north-south street.

6. Place: A north-south dead end cul-de-sac street intersecting an east-west street.

7. Boulevard: An eighty foot (80') or greater width street providing vehicular and pedestrian access to adjacent properties and is generally separated by a median strip, usually landscaped.

8. Road: A designated major street which extends through both urban and rural areas.


E. Private Roads: Private roads (street not dedicated to nor maintained by the district) shall have the suffix "Lane". Any private road which has two (2) or more addresses shall be officially named.


F. Use Of Road Or Boulevard: The use of "road" or "boulevard" shall be by designation of the committee upon recommendation of the district based upon the function and improvements of such streets.


G. Cul-De-Sacs: A cul-de-sac having a length of two hundred feet (200') or more (as measured from the centerline of the intersecting street to the point of radius or centroid of the cul-de-sac), shall be named unless the cul-de-sac is merely a change in direction of a named street.


H. Proposed Streets: A proposed street shall be considered in general alignment with an existing street if it is less than one hundred fifty feet (150') from centerline to centerline. Where the proposed street is on the same alignment and a continuation of an existing street, the name of the existing street shall be maintained with the appropriate designation. Where a street is on the same alignment but not linked to an existing street, the Council, upon recommendation of the department and the committee, shall designate a name giving preference to existing names.


I. Unification Of Two Differently Named Streets: Where a proposed street dedication unites two (2) differently named streets located on the same alignment, the Council, upon recommendation of the department and the committee, shall designate one of the existing names to be used, giving consideration to the length, collector status, period of usage and number of residents affected.


J. Directional Prefixes: Streets shall be given the prefix "North", "South", "East" or "West", based on their relationship to the grid system base lines.


K. Obvious Change In Direction: If a street makes a very obvious change in direction as determined by the department or its designee, a new street name shall be assigned, except as herein provided. Whenever this situation occurs, the change of street name may occur at an intersection rather than the point where the direction changes.


L. Officially Accepted Private Roads, Lanes: Officially accepted private roads (lanes) shall be listed on the official street name list with the accompanying designation "private". Applications for private road names shall be made to the department and referred to the committee for recommendation and approved by Council. Private road signs for interior private roads may be manufactured by a private company, provided the product is in conformance with district standards and this chapter. Interior private road signs shall not be maintained by the district.

1. The district shall approve the installation of private road signs within the public right-of-way.

2. Owners of properties on private roads shall be responsible for the cost of manufacture, installation and maintenance of street signs. All private roads shall have signs indicating its name and status as "private".


M. Proposed Subdivisions: Street names for proposed subdivisions shall be shown on preliminary and final plats in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and:

1. No final plat shall be certified by the City for processing to City Council until the street names proposed have been checked against the Official Street Name Map and list by the department and reviewed by the committee.

2. Subdividers shall be encouraged to use an overall theme when proposing street names.

3. No plat shall be approved by the City engineer until all provisions of this chapter have been complied with.

4. Subdividers shall erect street name signs at their own expense to district standards and at district designated locations.


N. Change Of Street Names: Street names may be changed as follows:

1. Written request by the applicant shall be made to the department to change a street name, or the department may recommend changes to the Council in street names for reasons of duplication, similar pronunciation or spelling, or for other reasons relating to public safety or convenience. Following such request or recommendation, the Council may hold a public hearing if deemed necessary. Applicants shall be required to pay for street signs as a condition of street name change.

2. If a street name change is deemed necessary, the Council, upon recommendation of the department and the committee, shall determine the street name. The following circumstances in addition to others, may be considered in changing street names: the number of existing addresses, the length of time the street name has been used, the date of the original dedication of the street, and the possible inconvenience to residents, property owners and the public.

3. No street names may be changed until the proposed name change has been checked with the Official Street Name Map and list, and has received recommendation of the department and the committee.


O. Location; Lettering: All street name signs shall be located to be clearly visible to persons operating vehicles. The lettering of the street name shall be a minimum of four inches (4") in height; however, all letters designating north, south, east or west shall be not less than two inches (2") in height. All lettering shall be of such color and width to contrast sharply with the board or plate upon which the lettering is placed and shall be in accordance with district standards. Said board or plate shall be a minimum of six inches (6") in width. All street name signs shall have the street names lettered on both sides of the board or plate.


P. Length: In general, street names shall not be over ten (10) letters in length, including spaces, unless otherwise approved by the district in writing. All street names shall conform to this limitation, except where existing names are to be continued due to alignments. (1952 Code § 9-06-05)

7-4-6: Street Address Numbering


A. Grid System Standards: All street address numbers shall conform to the grid system of the City shown on the Official Address Number Map and list on file at the department or its designee. The general standards to be used in developing a street address grid system are as follows:

1. Sixteen (16) grid blocks to the mile with three hundred thirty feet (330') between grid lines; and

2. A standard one hundred (100) numbers per grid.


B. Display: It shall be the duty of the owners and/or occupants of every dwelling and business to have placed or installed thereon in a place visible from the street, house or building, address numbers as hereinafter directed.


C. Assignment By Department: All address numbers shall be assigned by the department or its designee. No other person or organization, public or private, shall assign any address number to any residence, business, industry or use.


D. Requirements: The department and any person shall comply with the following requirements:

1. Only one number shall be assigned to each business, use or dwelling unit.

2. Numbers shall be assigned to vacant lots within platted subdivisions and shall otherwise be assigned in such a manner that adequate numbers are reserved for possible future developments or resubdivisions of land.

3. All address numbers shall be assigned for the street (or road) upon which the structure fronts. When vehicular access is used from a point other than the street frontage, the number shall be placed so as to be visible from the street from which it is addressed, and additional access direction signage may be required, if requested by the Fire Department.

4. All addresses located on the north and east sides of streets shall be even numbers. All addresses on the south and west sides of streets shall be odd numbers. These requirements may be changed in the case of meandering streets. When a street has been determined to be running in predominately one direction, the numbering shall not be changed if there are slight changes in street direction.

5. The owner of each building, house or structure shall post the assigned address number on said structure in such a manner to be clearly visible from the street (or road). The numbers shall be at least four inches (4") high.

6. Existing address numbers not in conformance with the Official Address Number System Map may be changed by the department giving written notice at least ninety (90) days in advance of the effective date to property owners affected by such changes. New address numbers must be posted on the property by the effective date.

7. Addresses for apartments, condominiums, commercial suites or other instances of multiple occupancy within a single structure or complex shall be addressed according to the procedures adopted by the department. (1952 Code § 9-06-06)

7-4-7: Variances


The standards and requirements of these regulations may be modified or varied by the Council where the enforcement of the rules will result in an extraordinary individual hardship; provided, that the public interest is served. The applicant must specifically state, in writing, the extraordinary hardship caused by this chapter and prove said variance will not cause an adverse affect to the health, safety and welfare of the community. In granting any such variance or modification, the Council may require conditions as will, in its judgment, secure substantial compliance with the intent of this chapter. (1952 Code § 9-06-07)

7-4-8: Fees


Fees shall be required by the applicant or appellant as specified in the current fee schedule. (1952 Code § 9-06-11; amd. 2019 Code)

7-4-9: Violations


It shall be unlawful for any person to:


A. Erect or install a street name sign not in accordance with the Official Street Name Map and without prior approval as provided herein.


B. Remove, alter, change or otherwise deface a street name sign which exists as provided herein.


C. Place or post address numbers not approved or assigned. (1952 Code § 9-06-08)

7-4-10: Penalty


Any person who shall violate or fail to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be subject to penalty as provided in section 1-4-1 of this Code. (1952 Code § 9-06-09; amd. 2019 Code)