Controversial Design Review Bill Dies in Committee

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Readers of this week's edition of Boise Weekly may have read about how members of the Idaho House of Representatives passed to the Senate HB 480,  a bill designed to strip municipalities of the power to demand design reviews of proposed buildings. But the Spokesman-Review's Betsy Russell reports that won't come to pass after a Senate committee denied the bill a hearing.

Sen. Jeff Siddoway, R-Terreton, who chairs the Senate Local Government and Taxation Committee, said the bill would impinge on towns and cities' ability to develop according to community preferences, citing Victor, Idaho, which has cultivated a Western theme.

"To take away that call from locals is not a good Republican principle, to me," Siddoway said.

Had the bill passed, it would have made municipal design review requirements for aesthetic reasons voluntary, with the exception of historic districts, requiring that all mandatory design changes be "clear, ascertainable and not based on subjective considerations."