City seeks zoning, parking changes for downtown library campus; public hearing set

Boise Library Expansion

In anticipation of a large new library project the City of Boise hopes to build on the current library site at Capitol and River St., the regulatory wheels are in motion.

The City of Boise filed an application with itself to make two key changes to the property around the library.

Property rezoning

The first would rezone six separate parcels on the block bounded by Capitol Blvd., River St., 9th St. and the Boise River. Right now the parcels have a variety or zones in place, including neighborhood office, general commercial and – in the case of The Cabin site – open land.

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The city wants to rezone the entire block into its central business zone. That allows a variety of uses – including retail, restaurant, theater, indoor recreation, parking structure and other uses. It also allows for higher density.

[Ahead of Boise library rebuild project, ad campaign hits the airwaves]

Most of the block would house the library if the city can get it funded, built and potentially past voters. Portions would remain in use for an office for Biomark USA and the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial.

Parking requirement changes

The other change would change the parking designation for the area. Right now, the library area is in the so-called “P2” parking overlay area. The change would add the area to the P1 zone, which removes all parking requirements for projects. The city cites parking garages about a half mile away with available space and notes a new parking garage “may potentially be built to the north of the properties to be rezoned.”

The public process

The requests will head to Boise’s Planning and Zoning Commission for a public hearing and vote. Planners scheduled the meeting for May 13th at 6pm at Boise City Hall. The Boise City Council will also get a chance to weigh in after the P&Z hearing.

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Don Dayhttp://linkedin.com/in/donday
Don has been covering news in Boise for 20 years. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow.

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