Idaho seeks to trump Boise’s rejection of parking garage design

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.


Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

Posted in Idaho Politics