Neighborhood Meeting Best Practices
Applicants | Neighborhood Associations | Neighbors
Now that you have completed your pre-application meeting with City of Boise, you are required to hold a neighborhood meeting prior to formally submitting your application.
The Boise City Code sets a baseline standard for neighborhood meetings. However, successful meetings go beyond the requirements and implement the best practices outlined below.
REQUIRED BY BOISE CITY CODE
- Applicant must hold a meeting to allow the public to review the proposed project
- Meeting must be held no more than six months or less than five days prior to submitting the application
- Meeting must be held within two miles of the project site
- Meeting must be held Monday through Thursday (excluding holidays), and start between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
- A notice must be sent or delivered to occupants and property owners within 300 feet, at a minimum, and to the registered neighborhood association. The City of Boise is currently testing an extended notification radius of 500 feet and encourages applicants to do the same
- Mailed notices must be postmarked at least seven days prior to the meeting
- Hand-deliveries must occur at least five days prior to the meeting
- Submit sign-in sheet from the neighborhood meeting
Not required by city code but recommended.
- Schedule a meeting with neighbors when the plan/design is still flexible
- Connect with the neighborhood association to determine a convenient date and time for the neighborhood meeting
- Choose a location that is at or near the project site. If you hold the meeting at the project site, make sure to include the location on the neighborhood notice letter and provide a comfortable meeting space (i.e. seating options, tables, microphone, etc.). If you choose an alternate location, make sure it is appropriate and ADA compliant; for example, if it is too warm or too cold outside, meet indoors (i.e. a nearby library, meeting hall or community room).
- At the meeting:
- Arrive 10-15 minutes early and if no one shows up, wait 30 minutes past the scheduled time before leaving.
- Have a sign-in sheet at the entrance, along with comment cards.
- Introduce yourself to the neighborhood association contact and all attendees.
- Reiterate the purpose of the meeting: to inform residents about the proposed project and gather their input before submitting a formal application to the city.
- Prepare a short (5-10 minute) presentation about the proposed project and any details on how it fits into the City of Boise Comprehensive Plan and the zoning code in the area. If available, share the site plan, project design and a timeline of upcoming public meetings or hearings with all stakeholders (i.e. ACHD).
- If available, share maps and any graphics that show the proposed project’s location and preliminary design. Bring handouts for attendees to take home.
- Bring copies of your pre-application meeting form in case attendees have questions about what has been shared with the city planners.
- Have extra business cards on hand and encourage attendees to contact you if they have additional questions after the meeting.
- After the meeting, circle back with the neighborhood association and all attendees on any changes that you made to the project plan and application, based on the input received. Inform them of next steps and encourage them to stay involved.
As the designated neighborhood lead, you have the opportunity to help shape the future of your neighborhood.
You are the main contact for the City of Boise, which means that you will receive notifications for any proposed projects that fall within your neighborhood boundaries. Below are some best practices for encouraging your fellow neighbors to get involved.
- Learn about the resources and processes the City of Boise uses when reviewing proposed developments in the city and your neighborhood (SEE: CITY PLANNING HANDBOOK) and serve as the resource for your neighborhood association members.
- For large-scale or complex projects, consider creating sub-committees to serve as leads for the various components of the proposed development.
- Before the meeting:
- Once you receive a notification about a proposed project in your area, update your neighborhood association with the information. Include the date, time and location of the neighborhood meeting with the project representative.
- If you hold a monthly meeting, make sure the agenda includes information about the proposed development and subsequent neighborhood meeting with the project representative.
- Remind neighbors of the resources and processes the City of Boise uses when reviewing proposed developments, so they arrive at the meeting prepared to have an informed conversation with the project representative.
- Share information from the neighborhood meeting (date, time, location) with the project representative on your neighborhood association’s social media channels.
- At the meeting:
- Introduce yourself to the project representative and give them your contact information. Let them know that you will be the main point of contact from the neighborhood association.
- Ask the project representative the best way for you to stay engaged in the proposed project. Can you call them directly? Is email a better mode of communication?
- After the meeting:
- FOLLOW-UP! After the neighborhood meeting, the project representative may update their proposed plan, then submit a formal application to the City of Boise.
- As soon as the application is filed, the city assigns a permit number to the project. The permit number is the key to tracking the project online. If you know the permit number, you can review the project’s documents at PDS.CITYOFBOISE.ORG/PERMITS
- Not sure if the project has been submitted yet? You can find a weekly report of projects that have been submitted for review at PDS.CITYOFBOISE.ORG/REPORTS. Just click “View PDF” under Planning Division Permits Received.
- Identify if other partner agencies will also be involved. Some examples include:
- If the proposed development includes updates to the streets in your neighborhood (i.e. a new sidewalk, curb or gutter) contact ACHD (ACHDIDAHO.ORG) to learn about upcoming public hearings or public comment opportunities.
- If the proposed development includes updates to the transit system, contact Valley Regional Transit (VALLEYREGIONALTRANSIT.ORG) to learn about upcoming public hearings or public comment opportunities.
As a community member, you are entitled to know about any proposed developments in your neighborhood. The City of Boise requires applicants to hold a neighborhood meeting before formally submitting an application for a project.
Below are some quick facts on what a neighborhood meeting is, what to expect and how to stay involved.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF A NEIGHBORHOOD MEETING?
A neighborhood meeting is required by Boise City Code. The purpose of the meeting is for the neighbors to meet the project representative and learn about the proposed project. Neighbors should use this time to ask questions and provide feedback.
By communicating with the project representative early in the process, the proposed project has a greater chance of being a welcomed change to the area.
HOW LONG IS A NEIGHBORHOOD MEETING?
Meetings typically run for 30 minutes to an hour. However, for large-scale or complex proposed developments, 1-2 hours may not be enough time. In this case, the project representative may choose to schedule a longer meeting or follow-up meeting.
Be sure to check the postcard for the exact duration and frequency of meetings.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE NEIGHBORHOOD MEETING?
After the neighborhood meeting, the project representative will take feedback into consideration and may update the proposed plans. At this point, they can formally submit an application to the city.
WHERE CAN I REVIEW THE APPLICATION?
As soon as the application is filed, the city assigns a permit number to the project. The permit number is the key to tracking the project online. If you know the permit number, you can review the project’s documents at PDS.CITYOFBOISE.ORG/PERMITS.
Not sure if the project has been submitted yet? You can find a weekly report of projects that have been submitted for review at PDS.CITYOFBOISE.ORG/REPORTS. Just click “View PDF” under Planning Division Permits Received.