While this is about Boise, every Idahoan should be on the alert for it happening in their city.
The Boise City Council recently approved a massive change in the city’s zoning codes that will “permit the inclusion of more housing units, diverse housing options, and an increase in mixed-use districts. This is called upzoning, and consequently, development along transit corridors will be denser, combining both residential and retail spaces”, opening the door to more money. A copy of the 611-page Boise Zoning Code Adoption Draft can be found here.
One group fighting this change is Reject Boise Upzone. Among many other concerns, issues they raise include a lack of citizen involvement in the decision, a resulting lack of affordable housing and reduction in lot sizes, increasing ADU sizes, and the fact that “2 of 6 council members were not elected by public vote”. Resources for other information can be found on their website.
Traditional zoning codes are now perceived as exclusionary, damage equity, inhibit growth, and should be eliminated. There is also some thought that these codes perpetuate segregation and hinder sustainable development. Changing these codes addresses equity in every way possible. There is truth to this. Why should a person who works their arse off to better their lives be allowed to have property that isn’t made available to others? Some think changes in zoning codes don’t go far enough. After all, housing is a human right.
So what is upzoning? Simply put, it is “changing the zoning code to allow taller and/or denser buildings”, thereby creating more development. But it isn’t just building size and numbers, it goes much farther with a drastic reduction in single housing lots and size, increased accessory dwelling units (ADU), reduced car use, and increased mass transportation with more walking and biking. Somehow, this is supposed to create social justice, equality, and protect the environment. These zoning changes are also typically built near mass transportation to move all those extra people around, and “promote inclusionary growth“.
ADUs can be built on existing single family lots. An addition can be added to the house, the space above a garage converted to an apartment, or a separate unit on the lot can be used for rent. Or a home can be split in half creating a rental unit. The whole purpose is to increase the number of people living on one lot, providing more housing “affordability“, options, equity, and inclusion, and protect the environment from less car use.
From where does all of this nonsense originate?
The 1968 Fair Housing Act barred discriminatory practices regarding housing. In 2015, the then president decided to create some new rules to “combat segregation and wide-spread discrimination in neighborhoods”. Basically, these rules began surveillance of housing to identify “patterns of integration and segregation, racially and ethnically concentrated areas of poverty, disproportionate housing needs, and disparities in access to opportunity.” In 2020, President Trump rescinded this rule. As soon as the current administration came into office, the rule was reinstated and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) reinstated it in 2021. This brings the requirement of ensuring cities have a blend of housing that meets the needs of all, including workforce housing for the influx of migrants. None of these rules fall under any congressional law.
The theory: It isn’t perceived as fair that lower income populations are not allowed to live in wealthier areas. Single family homes are hoarded by the wealthy so development in those areas should be mixed with lower income populations, and minority integration for inclusion, equity, and social justice.
Tucked inside this debacle was the idea of loosening zoning regulations to increase housing availability. Like any other fad, or agenda in this case, the idea flourished and has already been executed in places such as Seattle, New York, and Oregon in spite of evidence that it does not increase affordability. There is also the issue of gentrification, which is the influx of the wealthy “white” into poor areas to renovate homes or businesses, increasing property values, but not housing supply.
This whole agenda is a rehash for high density, compact, and mixed-use housing, but now it is invading private property rights, based on the fallacy of racism while pursuing social justice and social engineering objectives. How will a neighbor’s decision to build an ADU affect your property value? Or having a ten story high rise apartment complex built next to your single family lot? This Brookings article covers some upzoning issues. It is also a step closer to the 15 minute city concept.
Housing and the homeless have been a focus of Boise Mayor Lauren McLean. The most current data shows there are 687 people “without housing” in Boise, 101 of those without shelter. She supports the notion of preventing eviction, paying people’s rent, and “increasing affordable units”. In 2022, McLean joined House America with other mayors, in exchange for federal goodies to create more housing that feeds right into the mortgage industry, and may bring an opportunity to pursue more money for spending on her pet project as she already has.
While background information on Ms. McLean is fluffy and Boise oriented, and she preaches her love of Boise ad nauseam, the truth is she is far more involved in activities and groups that are distant from Boise, and Idaho for that matter.
Along with Rep. Ilana Rubel and many national figures with whom she can hobnob, Ms. McLean is one of the NewDEAL leaders, “who are pro-growth progressives” that are just full of ideas. The Mayors Institute on City Design (MICD), “a leadership initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts”, guides Ms. McLean towards transforming Boise towards big city projects. The American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL) gives Ms. McLean an opportunity to learn about China for a global perspective. Wonder if she understands “the people who gave their lives for China” were actually murdered along with many, many others. As a Notre Dame graduate, she is gutting the very place she believes is “so special”.
Having a degree in environmental policy, Ms. McLean is very much an environmentalist, being responsible for building a wall of no growth around Boise so the city can be more compacted and congested with people. She also supports the America the Beautiful 30×30 plan, to conserve 30% of land by 2030. In this interview, she discusses how she has moved Boise towards that goal by planting trees, having full support of residents, and fluffing over the source of her climate objectives.
But, she ain’t telling the whole story of what she is really doing.
America Is All In, led by Michael Bloomberg as appointed by the United Nations Special Envoy on Climate Ambition and Solutions, is an organization that supports climate action, and in which Ms. McLean belongs. She has set a target for city government to be carbon neutral by 2035, and the community with a target of 2050.
The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy (GCoM) “share a long-term vision to combat climate change”. A regional partner with this organization is the Climate Mayors of which Ms. McLean is a member and participant. As part of the Climate Mayors, she signed a letter committing to “adopt, honor and uphold Paris Climate Agreement goals” and was recently assigned to a steering committee to “strengthen city climate action”. As a side note, GCoM is a participant with the World Economic Forum (WEF). Being carbon neutral by 2050 is a WEF goal, and her “100% “clean” energy by 2030″ goal also belongs to the WEF. Her upzoning plan comes straight out of the objectives in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, while the WEF sees ADUs as one way to alleviate the housing crisis. Her playbook for WEF housing begins on page 18.
Another GCoM partner is C40 Cities which has an Urban Planning agenda for reducing greenhouse gas emissions that promotes development in transit-oriented locations with an emphasis on affordable housing, and works toward a model of compact communities and 15 minute cities. Along with Climate Mayors they have a guidebook on how to spend money for these climate actions.
In an effort to appear loyal to America, Ms. McLean is a member of the United States Conference of Mayors, where she can bring information back from the global elite to contaminate the minds of other mayors under its Alliance for a Sustainable Future, climate program, and MICD in which she is involved.
Ms. McLean’s agenda and associations with deep pockets doesn’t go unnoticed by those paying attention. As a Democrat she has no qualms about using taxpayer money to grow the government for her agenda and “transform” it into being more equitable. For sure, she is using the WEF roadmap for Boise’s climate action plan. The WEF vision is her vision, and mission.
That’s right, Ms. McLean is taking Boise down the WEF Great Reset path that will end up being a smart city or a 15 minute city design. There will be no escape as cars will no longer be available for escaping. Thanks to Ms. McLean, representing Boise citizens, and how they want their city to look and progress, has been taken over by outside organizations. Ms. McLean is bringing all of the WEF miasma and totalitarian objectives to Boise citizens that will also have an impact on surrounding cities. The goal has always been to infiltrate local governments with Agenda 21 objectives, and this is how the Great Reset gets integrated at a local level. That must be what the majority wants, as they elected Ms. McLean.