Senate Assistant Majority Leader Chuck Winder — who ran for mayor of Boise in 2003 — is seeking to exempt the state from complying with the city’s planning and zoning process for projects on the state-owned Capitol Mall.
The Senate State Affairs Committee introduced Winder’s bill on Friday. Winder said his bill was prompted by the city’s rejection of the design of a new 580-space parking garage behind the Capitol at 6th and Washington streets.
In January, the city’s Design Review Committee approved the garage’s height, but said the design and materials are inconsistent with the character of the surrounding historical area.
Early this month, the Planning and Zoning Commission affirmed the decision. The state has appealed to the City Council.
Winder said he hopes the appeal will succeed and that the “nuclear option” can be avoided. But if the city and state can’t agree, he said his bill would allow the project to go ahead. Bonds have been issued, Winder said, and extended delay would be expensive.
Sen. Jeff Siddoway, R-Terreton, suggested sending the bill to the full Senate with a recommendation for passage. But Chairman Curt McKenzie, R-Nampa, said he wanted to hold a hearing on the bill because there was opposition.