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Boise City Council adopts Interfaith Sanctuary conditions

The Boise City Council held a hearing to review and adopt the 30 proposed conditions for Interfaith Sanctuary's conditional use permit.

BOISE, Idaho — After approving Interfaith Sanctuary's appeal to gain a conditional use permit for a new shelter in April, the Boise City Council held a hearing to review and adopt the proposed conditions.

The city council voted to approve the adoption of the listed conditions in a 4-2 vote.

"The hearings that we had, I think we said that night, were unprecedented in the amount of time spent reviewing the record," Mayor McLean said. "We've gathered since that meeting to discuss how we provide service to those that need it, that will be new residents in the neighborhood, and at the same time ensure that the conditions that [were] created to work with the neighborhood, are implemented."

During the hearing, the only proposed adjustment to the listed conditions was changing the word "home" to "shelter" in the permit, which was approved.

"I do appreciate the change of the word 'home' to 'shelter' cause it's not a home, and that really is our end goal here," Council Member, Jimmy Hallyburton said. "Making sure we are putting people in permanent, housing solutions and that this is really a step to get them there. That really is a small change as far as the words go, but it's a very important one because I think that that really needs to describe our long-term commitment to getting folks into a home."

The appeal was to address the previous decision made by the Boise Planning and Zoning Commission which denied Interfaith Sanctuary of a conditional use permit to use the former Salvation Army building on West State Street as a shelter. 

After a week of emotional testimony, both for and against the appeal, the city council voted to approve the conditional use permit in a 4-2 decision. However, Interfaith Sanctuary was given a list of 30 conditions that need to be met under the conditional use permit. 

"This wasn't an easy decision, and there are many sides to it. This is designed to ensure that the neighborhood, in fact, does not suffer undue harm, undue burden from this decision," Council President, Elaine Clegg said. "That will depend on ensuring that these conditions are upheld, and upheld fully."

RELATED: Interfaith Sanctuary continues its battle for new shelter location, appeals P&Z conditional use permit denial

Some of the conditions include; adjusting the max capacity of beds to 205, a six-month review with the potential of modifying or adding conditions, safe syringe disposal, separating family spaces from individual spaces and limiting outdoor activities from 7 p.m. to 9 a.m.

"This isn't the end, this is the beginning," Clegg said, "and I hope what it's the beginning of is better serving those who need this shelter. We have that opportunity right now to do something, not just what we can, but something better."

Another condition of the permit requires neighborhood concerns to be brought up first with Interfaith Sanctuary's Executive Director, Jodi Peterson-Stigers.  

In about 6 months, Interfaith Sanctuary will meet with City Council again to ensure that those 30 conditions are being met. No date has been scheduled for that meeting yet.

"We have had to push ourselves to meet the needs of everyone in our community, certainly those who are most vulnerable in our community," Council Member, Lisa Sánchez, said. "I feel that we had to do everything we possibly could to make sure folks are adequately cared for; certainly having the basic needs of having shelter"

Interfaith Sanctuary will need to go through the regular facility approval processes with the city’s Planning and Development Services Department, including a Design Review process, before they can open the new shelter.

The council members' final vote was as follows: 

  • Elaine Clegg- Y 
  • Holli Woodings- Y 
  • Patrick Bageant- N 
  • Jimmy Hallyburton- Y 
  • Luci Willits- N 
  • Lisa Sanchez- Y

Testimony began Monday, April 18 and continued through Thursday, April 21, with the final decision being made on Monday, April 25. All hearings were live-streamed on KTVB.COM and the KTVB YouTube channel.

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