Chapter 2

Review And Decision Bodies

11-02-01: Purpose


To identify the roles and responsibilities of appointed and elected boards, as well as the duties of the city staff, in the administration of this Code.

11-02-02: City Council


1. Duties, Jurisdiction, And Authority: The Boise City Council ("the Council") is the final legislative authority on zoning and land use decisions. The Director and all commissions and committees indicated in this Code function at the direction of the Council. Duties and authority of the Council are as follows:

A. Confirm the Mayor's appointments to the memberships of the Planning and Zoning Commission, the Design Review Committee, the Historic Preservation Commission, and the position of Hearing Examiner;

B. Hear and decide applications as indicated in Table 11-03.1 and in Chapter 11-03, Review and Decision Procedures;

C. Hear and decide appeals of decisions of the Planning and Zoning Commission, and the Historic Preservation Commission; and

D. After receiving a recommendation from the Planning and Zoning Commission or Historic Preservation Commission, hear and decide all legislative matters including but not limited to adoption of and amendments to the Comprehensive Plan, amendments to the Land Use Map, amendments to this Code, annexations, re-zones, Area of Impact provisions, emergency ordinances and moratoriums.


2. Membership: The membership of the Council shall be as set forth in Title 1, Chapter 9, Election of Council Members by Designated Seat, of the Boise Municipal Code.


3. Procedures:

A. General: Rules of procedure for the Council are set forth in Title 1, Chapter 6, Council, of the Boise Municipal Code.

B. Emergency Ordinances:

(1) If the Council finds that an imminent peril to the public health, safety, or welfare requires adoption of ordinances, or adoption of a moratorium upon the issuance of certain permits, or both, it shall issue a written statement containing the reasons therefore. The Council may then proceed to a hearing, without recommendation of a commission and upon any abbreviated notice of hearing that it finds practical to adopt the ordinance or moratorium.

(2) An emergency ordinance or moratorium may remain in effect for no more than 182 days. Restrictions established by an emergency ordinance may not be imposed for consecutive periods. Further, an intervening period of not less than one year shall exist between an emergency ordinance and passage of another emergency ordinance. To sustain restrictions established by an emergency ordinance beyond the 182 day period, the Council must adopt an interim or regular ordinance, following the notice and hearing procedures in Section 11-03-03, Procedures.

C. Interim Ordinances:

(1) If the Council finds that a plan, plan component, or amendment to a city plan is being prepared, it may adopt interim ordinances as required or authorized under this chapter following the notice and hearing procedures provided in Section 11-03-03, Common Procedures. The Council may also adopt an interim moratorium upon the issuance of certain permits if, in addition to the foregoing, the Council finds that an imminent peril to the public health, safety, or welfare requires the adoption of an interim moratorium.

(2) An interim ordinance shall state a definite period of time, not to exceed one calendar year, during which it shall be in effect. To sustain restrictions established by an interim ordinance, the Council must adopt a regular ordinance, following the notice and hearing procedures provided in Section 11-03-03, Common Procedures.

11-02-03: Planning And Zoning Commission


1. Duties, Jurisdiction, And Authority: For enabling legislation for the Planning and Zoning Commission (PZC) generally, see Title 2 of the Boise Municipal Code. Duties, jurisdiction, and authority of the PZC are as follows:

A. Prepare and recommend a Comprehensive Plan and at least annually review the provisions of said plan and report its findings and recommendations to the Council;

B. Review and decide applications as indicated in Table 11-03.1 and in Chapter 11-03, Review and Decision Procedures;

C. As indicated in Table 11-03.1 and Chapter 11-03, Review and Decision Procedures, submit to the Council, following a public hearing, a report of findings and a recommendation to approve, approve with modifications, or deny each application;

D. Initiate, from time to time, a review of the provisions of this Code, report its findings and recommendations to the Council; and

E. Petition the Council requesting an amendment of this Code or the Boise City Comprehensive Plan; provided that it shall first have held public hearings thereon in the manner prescribed in Chapter 11-03, Review and Decision Procedures.


2. Membership:

A. Composition: The PZC shall consist of the Mayor and one person who is, at the time of appointment, under 18 years of age, as a non-voting ex-officio member; and in addition, not less than three nor more than 12 voting members, to be appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the Council. Persons living within the Area of City Impact shall be entitled to representation on the PZC. Such representation shall as nearly as possible reflect the proportion of population living within the area of impact.

B. Term Of Office: Appointment to such office shall be for the period of four years. No person shall serve more than two full consecutive terms without specific concurrence by two-thirds of the Boise City Council adopted by motion and recorded in minutes. If a vacancy shall occur during any unexpired term, the Mayor, with the confirmation of the Council, shall appoint a member for the balance of the term.

C. Chairman: The PZC shall appoint one of its members as Chairman of the PZC, who shall hold office as Chairman for such term as the PZC shall so designate, and the PZC may elect a Vice-Chairman who shall act as Chairman in the absence of the Chairman of the PZC.


3. Procedures:

A. The rules of procedure for the PZC are as set forth in Title 2, Chapter 4, Planning-Zoning Commission, of the Boise Municipal Code and the by-laws adopted by the PZC.

B. Compensation: The members of the PZC shall serve and act without compensation, except that their actual and necessary expenses shall be allowed by the Council and the city shall provide the necessary and suitable equipment and supplies to enable the PZC to properly transact and perform its business.

C. Quorum: A majority of the appointed members of the PZC shall be necessary to constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.

D. Meetings And Attendance:

(1) The PZC shall meet in regular hearing once per 30 days on the first Monday of the month for at least nine months of the year. The PZC may hold additional hearings following the regular monthly hearing if required by the volume of applications received during the previous cut-off period, and at such other times as may be called by the Chairman or by the Mayor.

(2) The members of the PZC are expected to attend scheduled meetings. Members may be excused from attendance due to personal illness, family emergency, or out of town business trips. PZC members whose attendance at scheduled meetings falls below 60 percent without cause within any given year may be removed from the PZC by the Mayor with the approval of Council.

E. Conflict Of Interest Prohibited: Members of the PZC shall honor the Code of Ethics within Chapter 1-8 of the Code and shall not participate in any proceeding or action when the member or his employer, business partner, business associate, or any person related to him by affinity or consanguinity within the second degree has an economic interest in the procedure or action. Any actual or potential interest in any proceeding shall be disclosed at or before any meeting at which the action is being heard or considered.

11-02-04: Design Review Committee


1. Duties, Jurisdiction, And Authority: The Design Review Committee (DRC) is a standing committee of the PZC. The duties, jurisdiction, and authority of the DRC are as indicated in Table 11-03.1 and Chapter 11-03, Review and Decision Procedures and as follows:

A. Protect property rights and values, enhance important environmental features of the City, and to ensure that the general appearance of buildings and structures along with development of the land does not impair or preclude the orderly and harmonious development of the community;

B. Review all development proposals within the design overlay zoning districts established by this Code. Within these districts the DRC, with input from other jurisdictions, shall regulate landscaping, review building design, site planning, signs, grading, development and beautification, including but not limited to the regulation and restriction of the type, massing, construction, reconstruction, alteration, or repair of buildings and structures to ensure compliance with the requirements of the respective overlay district; and

C. Develop and recommend to the PZC for Council adoption, special design criteria districts that describe additional requirements relating to bulk and design regulations to be imposed or that establish design standards for specific uses, types of uses, parking standards, streetscapes, or other similar items. Where a special district has been adopted, it shall be designated on the zoning maps.


2. Limitations:

A. The DRC is specifically prohibited from requiring reduction in density, reduction in floor area ratio, or other general bulk regulations that cannot specifically be shown to be required by reason of public safety, health, or destruction or diminution of property values. Unless the proposed structure is determined to be detrimental to health, safety, or adjoining property values, the DRC shall not require reduction in building height or floor area ratio to less than that allowed in the respective use district, except as allowed per section 11-06-03.03 for development on substandard original lots of record.

B. Denial of a design review permit or approval of a design review permit with conditions unacceptable to the landowner may be appealed to the PZC.


3. Membership:

A. Composition: The DRC shall be composed of up to eight members. Members of the DRC shall be appointed with due regard to the proper representation of such fields as architecture, landscape architecture, engineering, planning (environmental, urban, and town), and the visual arts. Only one member may reside outside of the city limits and within the Area of Impact. One member may be, at the time of appointment, under 21 years of age.The student member shall be appointed to a term of up to one year and may be reappointed up to two successive terms. The Mayor, in the same manner, shall appoint a member to fill an unexpired term in case of a vacancy.

B. Term Of Office: Members shall be appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the Council for a four-year term, with the exception of the PZC representative who shall serve a term of one year or less as defined by the PZC.

C. Chairman: The DRC shall appoint one of its members as chairman who shall hold office for such term as designated. The DRC shall elect a co-chairman to act as the chairman in the absence of the chairman.


4. Procedures:

A. Quorum: Four of the eight appointed members of the DRC shall be necessary to constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.

B. Meetings: The DRC shall meet in regular hearing once per 30 days on the second Wednesday of each month. The DRC may hold additional hearings following the regular monthly hearing if required by the volume of applications received during the previous cut-off period, and at such other times as may be called by the Chairman or by the Mayor.

C. Rules: The DRC shall adopt rules of procedure as necessary to conduct its duties. The PZC must approve all rules of procedure that are adopted by the DRC.

11-02-05: Historic Preservation Commission


1. Duties, Jurisdiction, And Authority: The duties, jurisdiction, and authority of the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) are as indicated in Section 11-05-09; Table 11-03.1, and Chapter 11-03, Review and Decision Procedures, and as follows:

A. Conduct a survey of local historic properties and landmarks;

B. Recommend acquisition of fee and lesser interest in historic properties and landmarks, including adjacent or associated properties and lands, by purchase, bequest, or donation;

C. Preserve, restore, maintain, and operate historic properties under the ownership or control of the City;

D. Recommend the lease, sale, transfer, or disposition of public historic property subject to the rights of public access and upon such terms and conditions that will ensure the preservation of the property;

E. Recommend contracting with the state or federal governments in the pursuit of the objectives of historic preservation;

F. Cooperate with the federal, state, and local governments in the pursuit of the objectives of historic preservation;

G. Participate in the conduct of land use, urban renewal, and other planning processes undertaken by the City, the County, or any other governmental entity;

H. Recommend ordinances and otherwise provide information for the purposes of historic preservation within the City;

I. Promote and conduct an educational and interpretative program on historic properties within the jurisdiction of the City;

J. After having received prior consent of the owner, occupant, or person in charge, and solely in performance of official duties and only at reasonable times, enter upon private lands for the examination or survey such lands; and

K. Review all development proposals within the HD overlay district and decide applications for a certificate of appropriateness.


2. Membership:

A. Composition: The HPC shall consist of up to nine members who shall be appointed by the Mayor with the advice and consent of the Council. Members of the HPC shall be appointed with due regard to the proper representation of such fields as history, architecture, urban planning, archeology and law. In addition, one member may be, at the time of appointment, under 21 years of age. One member may reside outside of the City limits and must reside within the Area of City Impact.

B. Term Of Office: All appointments shall be made for a term of three years, provided that the student member shall be appointed to a term of up to one year. If a vacancy occurs, the Mayor with the consent of the Council shall appoint a member to fill an unexpired term or may be appointed for a full term.

C. Chairman: The HPC shall appoint one of its members as chairman of the HPC who shall hold office as chairman for a consecutive period not to exceed two years. The HPC may also appoint a co-chairman who shall act as the chairman in the absence of the HPC chairman.


3. Procedures:

A. Compensation: The members of the HPC shall serve without pay but shall be reimbursed by the City for necessary expenses incurred in connection with their duties.

B. Quorum: A quorum shall consist of five or more members.

C. Meetings: The HPC shall meet monthly to review development proposals.A quorum is required for the conduct of HPC business.

D. Staff: The Director shall designate a staff member from the Planning Division to serve as the technical staff for the HPC.

11-02-06: Hearing Examiner


This Section authorizes the PZC to use the services of a Hearing Examiner pursuant to the authority granted in Idaho Code §67-6520 ("the Local Planning Act").

1. Duties, Jurisdiction, And Authority: The Hearing Examiner may conduct hearings on behalf of the PZC on matters as indicated in Table 11-03.1. The Director will assign applications to the Hearing Examiner or to the PZC for review, recommendation, and decision.


2. Qualifications: A person filling the position of Hearing Examiner shall be experienced in the field of planning and zoning, and shall have legal training and/or experience. The hearing examiner shall serve at the pleasure of the Council and shall not be a city staff member.


3. Procedures:

A. The Hearing Examiner shall review all information supplied by the department prior to the hearing.

B. The hearing shall be conducted in accordance with Boise City Code §11-03-03.13 and applicable state law.

C. At the completion of each hearing, the Hearing Examiner shall produce a report that includes a summary of testimony, findings of fact, conclusions of law, and a final order. Such report shall be filed at the Planning and Development Services Department. It shall be available to the applicant and the public no later than ten working days after the close of each hearing.

11-02-07: Planning Director


The Director refers to the Planning Director or his/her designee throughout this Code.

1. Duties Of The Director, Generally: It shall be the duty of the Director to provide for the administration of this Code and the Boise City Comprehensive Plan. The Director and his designees shall serve as the technical staff on planning and zoning issues.


2. Specific Duties And Responsibilities: The specific duties and responsibilities of the Director shall be as indicated in Table 11-03.1, Chapter 11-03, Review and Decision Procedures, and elsewhere in this Code, and as follows:

A. Provide and maintain a continuing program of public information on zoning matters and provide planning and zoning assistance to the public as requested;

B. Submit a written report evaluating applications, to the appropriate bodies;

C. Review building permit applications for zoning compliance;

D. Provide public notice of hearings;

E. Maintain records and files of all zoning applications;

F. Maintain a zoning enforcement program;

G. Prepare an annual annexation program;

H. Initiate revisions and amendments of this Code and the Comprehensive Plan;

I. Prepare special studies and plans;

J. Make interpretations of the provisions of this Code and the Comprehensive Plan;

K. Coordinate applications with the appropriate city departments and agencies;

L. Determine the classification of uses not specifically identified in this Code;

M. Serve as Floodplain Administrator.