BOISE, Idaho —
Nearly a year after Interfaith Sanctuary initially asked for a conditional-use permit to use the former Salvation Army building on West State Street, the Boise Planning and Zoning commission has voted to reject the permit 5 to 1.
"I just think that that level of adverse impacts is significant," Said commissioner Gillespie. "I don't think the conditions in the current permit would mitigate them because we don't really have any specific idea on how they would be mitigated."
The proposed location in question would have been a 205-bed shelter, open 24 hours a day and would partner with local housing agencies to help shelter residents get into permanent housing. The former thrift store would be upgraded to include separate housing for families as well as a computer lab, library, and training kitchen.
The plan also called for adding parking on-site, as well as landscape improvements and gardens on the property north of the building.
Interfaith officials have argued that the Treasure Valley's skyrocketing rents and comparatively low wages are sending more people slipping into homelessness daily, especially as the area's population continues to grow.
"I'm trying not to be heartbroken because I understand that the process is the process," said Jodi Peterson-Stigers, Interfaith's Executive Director. "I'm just concerned, you know we have a homeless issue in the city of Boise and the Interfaith Sanctuary is here to be part of that solution and this is just hard."
Those opposed to the move, including a number of residents who live near the proposed State Street address, counter that that the move would overburden emergency services, lower their property values, and bring crime, drugs and litter into their neighborhood.
Interfaith plans to file an appeal that will be heard by the Boise City Council.
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