On May 6th, Boise City Planning & Zoning (P&Z) Denied the Owner's Application for Rezoning.
City Council will vote on the issue on July 9th - They can Uphold or Reverse P&Z.
If Rezoning is allowed, the owners of the Travis Apartment (1620 W. Bannock St.) plan to demolish the 1937 Art Deco building and 80-years of history will go to the landfill.
The proposed new building will have 22 "high-end" units. The building will be 65' high and will tower over its neighbors with a design that is not harmonious with the neighborhood's architectural character. The West Downtown Neighborhood Association wants some rezoning to allow it to focus on appropriate residential and retail/commercial changes and we support that but this proposed new building does not enhance the neighborhood.
The West Downtown Neighborhood Association is working on the creation of a Conservation District to give them some control over what gets built there but they need more time to put that in place and without a Demolition Review Ordinance in Boise, any owner can pull a permit and demolish a building without any recourse regardless of the significance of the building.
Boise will lose 10 more affordable housing units. The one-bedroom apartments rent for around $800/month. They allow Boiseans to live and work downtown at a price point that NO buildings built in recent years have done. If the Travis Apartments are replaced by new "high-end" apartments, as the owner has stated, Boise goes further away from retaining its "Most Livable City" status when it comes to protecting affordable housing.
Losing affordable housing and sending a structurally sound building to the landfill go against important sections of Blueprint Boise, the city's comprehensive plan. This is a big parcel. Units could be built on part of the 80% of the lot the owner says is not covered by these apartments. We can achieve higher density WITHOUT losing the Travis Apartments.
Blueprint Boise states: "One of the most effective means of achieving a more compact growth pattern is to identify opportunities to accommodate future growth within the city’s existing “footprint,” either on vacant sites or through the redevelopment of obsolete buildings or uses. In Boise, these opportunities will be concentrated in the Downtown, along existing and future transit corridors, and within designated activity centers; however, small-scale residential and mixed-use infill projects will continue to occur with appropriate protections for historic neighborhoods."
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Boise City Council will hear this application on July 9th.
We need 100 emails telling City Council to UPHOLD the decision of P&Z to deny the rezoning.
Emails must be received by 5 PM on June 27th to be included in the hearing packet.
You can cut and paste or change any part of the text below to reflect your personal feelings and goals.
Send your email to Brent Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can state: "I oppose rezoning request, CAR19-00005/Travis Apartments. Allowing the rezoning of this parcel will assure the demolition of the historic Travis Apartments. The city will lose affordable housing units and will negatively impact the landfill. Avoidance of both of these impacts are clearly stated in the Blueprint Boise and have been echoed as goals by Boise city government. Additional units could be built on this lot without demolishing the Travis Apartments. Please uphold the Planning & Zoning denial of this application."
You can read more about the history of the building below, see the full online application, and see the email Preservation Idaho sent to City Council back in February when we first learned of the owner's intention to demolish the Travis Apartments.