Boise's Zoning Districts

This provides an overview of the various zoning districts, and is not a comprehensive listing of all uses and zoning requirements. Each zoning district has specific requirements for lot size, density, limitations, height limits, yard setbacks, off-street parking and loading and sign provisions.

Get information about your property's zoning

The Zoning Ordinance is occasionally amended, and this is not always immediately revised. For complete information about your property's zoning, please contact our office at 208-384-3830 and ask to speak to a Procedures Analyst.

Uses not listed in the Zoning Ordinance are prohibited, but may be considered by the Planning Director upon request. A detailed letter describing the nature of the use must be submitted to the Director. Additionally, the Planning Director may require a site plan or other material to aid in evaluating a proposed use. Any use which is accessory to an allowed use or is similar in nature to that use may be allowed. To find out if that is the case, check with Planning & Development Services.

Overlay Zones

Overlay zones contain regulations that are applied to property within the overlay zone in addition to the requirements of the base zoning district.

The following are Overlay Zones:

  • Design Review
  • Downtown Design Review
  • Historic Preservation
  • Capitol Boulevard Special Design Review
  • Near North End Conservation District
  • Sycamore Neighborhood
  • Big Sky Neighborhood

Zoning Ordinance

Copies of the complete Zoning Ordinance are available for sale at the Planning & Development Services Department, 2nd Floor of Boise City Hall. The City Clerk's website also has copies of the Zoning Ordinance (Title 11 of Boise City Code) available online. Visit the City Clerk website for more information.


Zoning Districts

Select a Zone Type to skip to the description of that Zone.

Single Family Residential (R-1A, R-1B, R-1C)
Combined Residential (R-2)
Multi-Family Residential (R-3)
Single-Family/Modular Residential (R-1M)
Residential Office (R-O)
Neighborhood Office (N-O)
Limited Office (L-O)
Open Land (A-1, A-2)
Neighborhood Commercial (C-1)
General Commercial (C-2)
Service Commercial (C-3)
Planned Commercial (C-4)
Central Business (C-5)
Pedestrian Commercial (PC)
Health Service (H-S)
Limited Industrial (M-1)
General Industrial (M-2)
Planned Industrial (M-4)
Technological Industrial Park (T-1)
Technological Manufacturing Park (T-2)


Single Family Residential | R-1A, R-1B, R-1C

The R-1A, R-1B & R-1C Zones provide regulations for predominantly single family residential uses within the urban community. One of these zoning designations is applied to most of the City's residential development.

Allowed Uses

  • Accessory structures to single family dwellings
  • One single family dwelling per lot
  • Professional offices on a lot bordering a Commercial or Industrial zone (Design Review approval required)
  • In-home child care facility up to 5 children
  • Enhanced manufactured home

Allowed with Administrative Approval

  • In-home child care facility for 6 - 12 children
  • Duplexes
  • Home occupation
  • Accessory dwelling unit

Allowed with Conditional Use Permit

  • Child care facility for 13 or more children
  • Golf course/Parks/Recreation
  • Planned development
  • Government building, non-industrial
  • Church
  • Commercial swimming pools or social centers
  • School
  • Off-site parking lot

Combined Residential | R-2

The R-2 Zone accommodates a need for medium density residential development, often located on the periphery of more intensive land uses.

Allowed Uses

  • One single family dwelling per lot
  • All uses allowed in R-1 District

Allowed with Administrative Approval

  • All uses approved by Administrative Approval in R-1 districts
  • Duplex

Allowed with Conditional Use Permit

  • All uses allowed in R-1A, R-1B and R-1C Districts
  • Sorority or Fraternity House
  • Districts with a Conditional Use Permit
  • Convalescent home
  • Boarding/Rooming/Halfway House
  • Hospital
  • Planned development
  • Mortuary
  • Mobile home park

Multi-Family Residential | R-3

The R-3 Zone provides for higher density residential development that is convenient to shopping, recreation, and other community facilities. It also provides for orderly transition from more intensive, high density uses to less intensive, lower density uses.

Allowed Uses

  • All uses allowed in R-1A, R-1B & R-1C Districts z Boarding/Rooming House
  • Multiple-family dwelling (up to 20 units per acre in one building)

Allowed with Conditional Use Permit

  • All uses allowed in R-1 Districts with a Conditional Use Permit
  • Planned development
  • Motel/Hotel
  • Multiple-family dwellings over 20 units per acre, or 2 or more buildings per lot
  • Halfway house
  • Office
  • Animal hospital
  • Club/Lodge

Single-Family/Modular Residential* | R-1M

The R-1M Zone:

a. Provides for the development of diverse urban housing products at a net density of approximately 8 to 12 units per acre;
b. Promotes pedestrian-oriented development;
c. Promotes high quality architectural design;
d. Encourages development generally consistent with the features of new urbanism as defined in the Boise Comprehensive Plan; and
e. Allows a developer to achieve housing that meets these purposes with a minimal review process.

Allowed Uses

  • Professional offices on a lot bordering a commercial or industrial zone (Subject to Design Review approval)
  • Accessory structures to single family dwellings (i.e. garage, shed, hobby shop)
  • One detached single family dwelling per lot
  • Child Care Facility up to 5 children
  • Enhanced Manufactured Home

Allowed with Administrative Approval

  • Attached townhome/row house design: 1 principal dwelling per lot
  • At home child care facility for 6 - 12 children
  • Accessory dwelling unit
  • Home occupation

* The R-1M District is designed to accompany modular-lot land division. Particular design standards apply.


Residential Office | R-O

The R-O Zone provides for an urban transitional buffer between high intensity commercial areas and adjacent higher density residential areas, with an emphasis on high quality urban design and pedestrian-orientation.

Allowed Uses

  • In home child care facility up to 5 children
  • Single family & duplex dwellings
  • Residential use for owner or caretaker
  • Enhanced manufactured home
  • Offices
  • Multiple-family dwellings
  • Boarding and rooming house
  • Convalescent/Nursing Home
  • Parks & plazas

Allowed with Administrative Approval

  • Child care facility of 6 - 20 children
  • Adult day care

Allowed with Conditional Use Permit

  • Animal hospital*
  • Child care facility of 21 or more children
  • Club/Lodge/Social Hall
  • Pharmacy*
  • Mausoleum
  • Motel/Hotel
  • Radio and television stations
  • Grocery
  • Personal services (Barber shop/studio)*
  • Private commercial schools*
  • Bank/financial institution*
  • Church
  • Medical laboratory
  • Halfway House
  • Self-service laundry*
  • Mortuary
  • Tavern/lounge*
  • Planned development
  • Restaurant*

* Special restrictions apply


Neighborhood Office | N-O

The Neighborhood Office Zone provides for professional offices and similar uses adjacent to or in proximity to residential uses. Development is intended to be of a scale and character similar to nearby residential development to promote compatibility.

Allowed Uses

  • Child care facility up to 5 children
  • Mausoleum
  • Offices

Allowed with Administrative Approval

  • Child care facility between 6 - 12 children
  • Residence for owner or caretaker

Allowed with Conditional Use Permit

  • Animal hospital
  • Boarding/Rooming/Halfway house
  • Optician shop
  • Pharmacy
  • Drive-up window
  • Club/Lodge/Social Hall
  • Medical laboratory
  • Adult day care
  • Hospital
  • Child care facility for 13 or more children
  • Public, private or parochial school
  • Church
  • Mortuary
  • Planned development
  • Non-vocational or trade schools
  • Nursing home
  • Bank/Financial institution

Limited Office | L-O

The Limited Office District allows office development in locations served by primary access, but because of close proximity to residential uses are inappropriate for commercial development.

Allowed Uses

  • All uses allowed in N-O District

Allowed with Administrative Approval

  • All uses authorized by Administrative Approval in the N-O District
  • Child care facility for 13 - 20 children

Allowed with Conditional Use Permit

  • All uses permitted in N-O District with a Conditional Use Permit
  • Indoor commercial recreation: bowling alley etc.
  • Commercial photography studio
  • Radio and television stations
  • Motel/Hotel

Open Land | A-1, A2

A-1
The Open Land A-1 District provides a zoning district within the City for low density residential uses and uses requiring larger areas for development such as parks, schools, golf courses and agriculture.

A-2
The Open Land A-2 District provides a zoning district within the City for property intended for permanent open space and to properly guide growth of the fringe areas of the City. The A-2 zone should be applied to property that is not intended for development, or for property that the City desires to be subject to more development limitations than would be provided by the A-1 District.

Allowed Uses

  • Single family dwelling
  • Golf course (A-1)
  • Public park

Allowed with Conditional Use Permit

  • Aircraft landing field
  • Public, private or parochial school
  • Animal hospital
  • Church
  • Mining of sand, dirt or gravel
  • Cemetery
  • Government buildings
  • Planned development
  • Private amusement/recreation center
  • Broadcasting tower
  • Public buildings
  • Commercial kennel
  • Golf club house within 300’ of residential dwellings
  • Golf course (A-2)

Neighborhood Commercial | C-1

The C-1 Zone allows for small-scale commercial uses that provide services for nearby residential areas, are compatible with residential uses, and have relatively little impact.

Allowed Uses

  • Bank (without drive-up service)
  • Restaurant, excluding drive-in
  • Office
  • Retail store*
  • Personal services (barber shop, studio)
  • School of Art/Music/Business/Secretarial
  • Laundry (retail, self-service)
  • Church
  • Pharmacy/Optician
  • Mausoleum
  • Club/Lodge/Social Hall

Allowed with Administrative Approval

  • Child care facility of 6 - 20 children
  • Residence for owner or caretaker
  • Single family and duplex dwellings
  • Boarding and rooming house

Allowed with Conditional Use Permit

  • Rooming/Boarding/Halfway House
  • Service station
  • Hospital/Clinic
  • Multiple family dwellings
  • Drive-up window establishment (banks, restaurants)**
  • Child care facility of 21 or more children
  • Convalescent/Nursing home
  • Tavern/lounge
  • Planned development
  • Radio/Television station
  • Theater (excluding drive-ins)
  • Motel/Hotel

* Restrictions on building and development project size apply.
** Special restrictions.


General Commercial | C-2

The C-2 General Commercial Zone fulfills the need for travel-related service and retail sales areas within the City.

Allowed Uses

  • All uses allowed in C-1 zone
  • Auto sales & service
  • Radio/Television stations
  • Medical laboratory
  • Tavern/lounge
  • Bowling alley/Arena/Gymnasium
  • Newspaper, printing business
  • Seed, garden supply
  • Bus station
  • Commercial parking lot
  • Theater (excluding drive-ins)
  • Motel/Hotel

Allowed with Administrative Approval

  • Caretaker residence
  • Single family & duplex dwelling

Allowed with Conditional Use Permit

  • All uses allowed in C-1 districts with a Conditional Use Permit
  • Storage, outdoor & self-service
  • Major auto repair shop
  • Truck stop
  • Building material & machinery sales
  • Child care facility of 6 or more children not at home
  • Regional shopping center
  • Drive-up window establishment**

** Special restrictions.


Service Commercial | C-3

The C-3 Service Commercial Zone provides for activities of a service nature which are more intensive in use than those permitted in other commercial zones and which are semi-industrial in character.

Allowed Uses

  • All uses allowed in the C-2 District except Tavern/lounge
  • Building material and heavy machinery sales
  • Contractor shop/yard
  • Storage, warehouse, self-service, outdoor
  • Trucking terminal, truck stop
  • Bulk garden supply
  • Service station
  • Automobile repair shop, major
  • Wholesale business

Allowed with Administrative Approval

  • Residence for owner or caretaker

Allowed with Conditional Use Permit

  • All uses allowed in the C-2 District with a Conditional Use Permit except adult day care
  • Bottling & distribution plant
  • Laundry, industrial
  • Tavern/lounge
  • Vocational, trade schools
  • Major utility facility

Planned Commercial | C-4

The C-4 Planned Commercial Zone promotes innovative and comprehensively planned commercial developments through conditional use permits. The highest architectural, landscaping and site planning standards are encouraged to accomplish this purpose. Regulations may be used to encourage medium to high density residential projects within a mixed use area or within a predominantly commercial area.

Allowed Uses

  • Offices, 1,000 sq. ft or less in 1 building
  • Church

Allowed with Conditional Use Permit

  • Single family and duplex dwellings
  • Retail businesses
  • Those uses allowed or authorized by a Conditional Use Permit in the C-3 District, except for the following:
    • Contractors, sheet metal and roofing shops
    • Sign painting shops
    • Industrial laundry
    • Vocational or trade schools
    • Storage warehouse
    • Transit and trucking terminal
    • Wholesale business

Central Business | C-5 

The C-5 Central Business Zone addresses the City's Central Business District needs, and provides for activities conducive to a compact and concentrated urban downtown commercial center. Lands may be classified C-5 where contiguous to existing C-5 designated lands.

Allowed Uses

  • Bank/financial institution (excluding drive-up)
  • Church
  • Printing/Lithography/Publishing
  • Club/Lodge/Social hall
  • Retail store
  • Medical laboratory
  • Pharmacy
  • Restaurant
  • Motel/hotel
  • Office
  • Parking structure
  • Radio/Television stations
  • Indoor recreation
  • Multiple-family dwellings
  • Boarding/Rooming house
  • Personal services (barber shop, studio)
  • Theater
  • Tavern/lounge

Allowed with Administrative Approval

  • Child care facilities for 6 - 20 children
  • Residence for owner or caretaker

Allowed with Conditional Use Permit

  • Child care facility of 21 or more children
  • Convalescent/Nursing home/Hospital
  • Laundry/Industrial
  • Medical research facilities
  • Planned development
  • Parking lots
  • Outdoor recreation facilities
  • Retail uses: shopping center
  • Social care facilities
  • Warehouse & self storage

Pedestrian Commercial* | PC

The Pedestrian Commercial Zone provides for pedestrian-friendly design of retail, office and mixed use developments. This district encourages residential uses in conjunction with commercial uses. Buildings must be located and designed to relate to the street with a pedestrian scale. Generally, parking is only permitted to the side or rear of the buildings.

Allowed Uses

  • Retail store, restaurant, personal services, office and wholesaling up to 30,000 sf. of building area
  • Residential uses (second and third floor only)

Allowed with Conditional Use Permit

  • Retail store, restaurant, personal services, office and wholesaling exceeding 30,000 sf. of building area
  • Entertainment use, including theaters and arcades
  • Gasoline sales with convenience retail
  • Hotel/motel
  • Tavern/lounge

* The PC District is a pedestrian-oriented zone. Special design standards apply.


Health Service | H-S

The H-S Zone provides for health, medical and related uses at the City's major medical institutions and their surrounding areas. Uses providing support services to health and medical uses are also permitted.

Allowed Uses

  • Child care facility up to 5 children
  • Offices
  • Single family residence and duplex
  • Health care facilities
  • Multiple family dwellings (check for regulations)
  • Hospital/convalescent homes

Allowed with Administrative Approval

  • Adult day care
  • At home child care facility for 6 -12 children

Allowed with Conditional Use Permit

  • Bank without drive-up service
  • Child care facilities - 6 or more outside home
  • Restaurant - excluding drive-up window
  • Mortuary
  • Drive-up windows, health related services only
  • Social center
  • Multiple-family dwellings (check for regulations)
  • Motel/hotel
  • Government buildings - non-industrial
  • Church
  • Laboratory
  • Short-term RV parking
  • School
  • Planned development

Limited Industrial | M-1

The M-1 Zone provides for and encourages the grouping together of light industrial uses capable of being operated under such standards that they will be unobtrusive and will not be detrimental to surrounding commercial or residential uses.

Allowed Uses

  • Animal hospital/Boarding kennel
  • Auction establishment
  • Auto service station
  • Motor vehicle repair
  • Sale of building materials
  • Wholesale business
  • Radio/Television station
  • Blacksmith shop
  • Food processing
  • Bottling plant
  • Contractors yard
  • Lumber yard
  • Laundry/Industrial
  • Accessory retail sales & service
  • Trucking terminal
  • Printing
  • Warehouse and self storage
  • Manufacturing (check for regulations)
  • Sale/rental of autos/trucks/trailers

Allowed with Conditional Use Permit

  • Asphalt/concrete plant
  • Grain elevator
  • Public utility shop/storage
  • Rock crushing/gravel pit
  • Schools: vocational & technical
  • Non-residential planned development
  • Junk yard & auto wrecking yard
  • Accessory storage of flammable liquids/gases (check regulations for other storage)
  • Offices
  • Tavern
  • Sexually Oriented Business

General Industrial | M-2

The M-2 Zone provides for the location of heavy industrial activity including uses which, for reasons of health, safety or general welfare, are excluded from the M-1 District.

Allowed Uses 

  • Uses allowed in any M-1 District
  • Asphalt/concrete plant
  • Utility shop/storage
  • Grain elevator
  • Battery rebuilding shop

Allowed with Conditional Use Permit

  • Uses authorized in any M-1 District with a Conditional Use Permit
  • Stockyard/feedlot
  • Bulk storage of corrosive, flammable or explosive materials
  • Lumbermill/pulpmill
  • Slaughterhouse/rendering plant
  • Sanitary landfill, composting, incinerator
  • Sexually Oriented Business

Planned Industrial | M-4

The M-4 Planned Industrial Zone promotes innovative and comprehensively planned industrial developments through the conditional use process. The highest standards of architecture, landscaping and site planning are encouraged. All uses require approval of a conditional use application by the Planning & Zoning Commission.

Allowed Uses

  • All uses in M-4 District require Conditional Use approval by the Planning Commission, or are prohibited.

Technological Industrial Park | T-1

The T-1 District provides for the development of well-planned and designed technological-industrial parks which accommodate light industrial, technological, professional offices and other similar activities. These parks may be adjacent to residential districts, provided that they are located on arterial streets and are not materially detrimental to the health, safety and welfare of the residential districts.

Allowed Uses

  • Printing/Publishing
  • Professional/Medical offices
  • Accessory retail sales
  • Some manufacturing facilities
  • Medical & dental laboratories/Research facilities

Allowed with Conditional Use Permit

  • Accessory outdoor storage of non-flammable noncorrosive or noncombustible materials
  • Accessory bulk storage of flammable gasses & liquids
  • Radio/television broadcasting station
  • Some manufacturing facilities
  • Warehouse, self-storage
  • Schools, vocational & trade
  • Planned development, non-residential
  • Utility shop/storage

Technological Manufacturing Park | T-2

The T-2 Technological-Manufacturing Park Zone provides sites for development of manufacturing and technological facilities that potentially have a greater impact on the surrounding area than industries found within the T-1 District.

Allowed Uses

  • All uses allowed in the T-1 District except the manufacture of food product additives
  • Contractor shop and yard
  • Various manufacturing
  • Utility shop/Storage
  • Radio/Television broadcasting
  • Various storage (check regulations)

Allowed with Conditional Use Permit

  • Uses authorized in the T-1 District with a Conditional Use Permit
  • Asphalt or concrete plant
  • Junk yard and auto wrecking
  • Manufacture of construction components
  • Gas fired power plant
  • Tavern/lounge
  • Transit or trucking terminal

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