SENA ASKS TO Close Loopholes for Duplexes, Incentivize Owner-Occupied Housing
SENA sent an emergency letter to the Mayor and City Council August 13 to ward off the rapid development of four- and five-bedroom duplex-dormitories primarily in neighborhood south of Boise State University. Last year, the City Council created an emergency ordinance in light of such development, but the city's Planning and Zoning Commission has been approving such developments even after pledging to revisit the new rules. SENA reiterated this week the continuance of the same threat that occasioned the city's earlier emergency ordinance: five bedrooms per each side of a duplex, the most recent plan at 1314 Lincoln that technically calls for 4 bedrooms plus an "office" that developers admit can easily be used by renters as a fifth bedroom per each side of the duplex. SENA's position is that the reasons for the earlier emergency duplex are fading as developers continue with s stealth ordinance through semantics and violations rules limiting the number of bedrooms.
SENA cites the Original South Boise Neighborhood Plan and Blueprint Boise, which call for preserving the single-family character of the Original South Boise neighborhood:
SE-NC 2.4: BSU AREA NEIGHBORHOODS
Preserve existing single-family neighborhoods, where possible, south of BSU (north of Boise Avenue, south of Beacon Street between Capitol Boulevard and Broadway Avenue).
The area is on the verge of becoming only one thing--student housing for BSU through loose interpretations by the City of existing R-2 zoning, which is for homes and duplexes, not dormitories or boarding houses. The building of dormitories by other names -- "duplexes" or "single-family" houses cut up into bedrooms -- shows the loopholes that must be addressed by new and revised ordinances to level the playing field for live-in and prospective live-in homeowners. SENA proposes revised/new ordinances, including:
• Reducing the number of parking permits issued for residences
• Reducing the number of unrelated individuals who may occupy a dwelling (currently five in Boise)
• Incentivizing owner-occupancy
Full Letter Below: