North Idaho Slow Growth
Useful Links and Information
This page provides a variety of links to useful information relevant to planning and growth. These include 1) Slow Growth Civic groups, 2) Regional Planning agencies, 3) Definitions of common terms and institutions, 4) relevant Idaho Statutes and 5) Citizen Initiatives passed to limit development.
1) Citizen Groups for Slow Growth TMC link
There are a number of Citizen Groups that have formed in order to educate each other and work against unpopular developments. They are useful for sharing information and are especially helpful prior to elections. The Responsible North Idaho Growth group is an informal umbrella group for the whole region, but it is important to organize sub-groups locally, since cities have a significant amount of control over new developments in their area.
- NI Slow Growth Research Telegram Channel — NISGR has recently started a telegram channel dedicated to issues related to Growth and Development.
- Responsible North Idaho Growth Facebook Page — Active discussion group where members post articles and comments of general interest.
- No Huetter Bypass Website — Keeps us informed about the critical US-95 bypass project that has far-reaching consequences for all of North Idaho.
- Keep Bonner County Rural Facebook Page — Concerned citizens working to prevent urbanization of Bonner county.
- Save Hayden Website — This group of Hayden citizens opposes the 2040 Comp Plan and is working to makes significant changes in the city government.
2) Regional Planning Agencies
Each city in Kootenai county has its own planning department and zoning codes, and the City websites have relevant links. The following links are not specific to any city, but concern overall county wide planning. A few of the following links refer to Kootenai County webssites, but most are regional planning agencies funded and controlled by the Federal Government. Some of these agencies are funded directly by Federal agencies. Others are "non-profits" that subsist mainly on Federal grants.
- Kooenai Metropolitan Planning Organization (KMPO) — Federally mandated transportation planning organization.
- CDA 2030 — This is an explicity Globalist, Agenda 21 "Non Profit" agency that has hi-jacked the planning process in Coeur D'Alene. There is now talk of merging it with RPGIP.
- Regional Planning and Growth Issues Partnership — Committee formed by KMPO to address the region's "housing crisis" and lobby for affordable housing grants.
- Kootenai RPGIP FAQs page — The FAQs on this page are very informative, though written from a pro-growth viewpoint.
- Housing Availability and Affordability Study — Study on the "Housing Crisis" in Kootenai county, promoted by the usual suspects: Panhandle Affordable Housing Alliance, CdaEDC, Avista, etc.
- KRPGIP Growth Management Principles — This document produced by the above named committee outlines various policies that will enable high density growth.
- Kootenai County Parcel Map with Huetter Overlay — This interactive map allows you to look up property owners of every parcel in Kootenai county. Extremely useful for research!
Our local government websites include a great deal of information about zoning and development and are well worth perusing. If you want your representatives to serve you instead of corporate developers it helps to become familiar with who they are and what jobs they are doing. Get to know the people making criticial decisions about your home town: not just elected officials, but city employees as well.
- City of Hayden website
- City of Post Falls website
- City of Rathdrum website
- City of Coeur d' Alene website
3) Terms, Abbreviations, Rackets
The following terms and abbreviations are essential to understand before trying to make sense of Idaho's rapid growth problems. In addition a high demand for single-family homes coming from recent arrivals, there are substantial financial incentives for well-connected developers to build high density, multi-family buildings.
The proponents of "smart growth" in Idaho present themselves as concerned citizens who seek to "strengthen cities" and "preserve farmland", but there is a great deal of money at stake.
Most people have no idea how much government money goes to subsidize wealthy landowners and developers in the name of "low income housing" and "environmental protection".
- Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) — This program provides generous tax credits to corporations that finance high density apartments. It incentivizes socialized housing, crony-capitalism, and dramatically drives up rents.
- Private Landowner Assistance Program (PLAP) — These are federal "environmental" programs that pay private landowners to leave land undeveloped. They subsidize large land-holding corporations, create artificial scarcity, and drive up land prices.
- Housing Choice Voucher (HCV, aka Section 8) — Government program that pays the rent of low income households directly to qualified property owners.
- Idaho Housing and Finance Association (IHFA) — Private corporation that handles all grants, subsidies, and tax credits related to "Low Income Housing" in Idaho. As a private business that offers "government services", the public has limited visibility into its finances. SAF.
- Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) — Corporations that can hold property for owners who wish to remain anonymous. Frequently used by wealthy investment firms to hide their influence. .
- Area of City Impact (ACI) — Land in unicorporated areas of Idaho that are adjacent to cities. ACI agreements must be negotiated with cities before land can be annexed and rezoned.
- Transferrable Development Rights (TDR) — Legal mechanism for preventing "urban sprawl" by transferring development rights to investors in already urbanized areas regions.
- Fair Market Rent (FMR) — Value established by HUD (Housing and Urban Development) used as a basis for direct compensation of landlords for HCV and LIHTC subsidies.
- Mixed Use Development (MU) — Zoning category allowing multi-family residential structures in commercial areas. Promoted by urban planners, "densification" advocates, and LIHTC developers.
- Land Banking — Long term corporate investment strategy by which undeveloped land outside of urban areas is bought and held, then slowly developed to keep land supplies tight and maximize profits.
Some of these programs have enormous potential for backroom dealing and corruption.
If the public understood where their money was really going they'd be horrified, but most journalists work on behalf of developers, and instead of investigating these obvious conflicts of interest, just reiterate corporate talking points.
Those of us who are concerned about unhealthy growth will need time to fix these systemic problems, but in the meanwhile we can refuse to roll over and allow globalist central planners destroy our cities, and we can combat their lies and false promises.
4) Idaho Statutes pertaining to Growth
Idaho allows cities and counties a great deal of flexibility pertaining to growth, but their statutes have been strongly influenced by "smart growth" advocates in recent years. Slow growth advocates should be aware of laws and statutes that should be modified in the coming years. It is the "Affordable Housing" racket, however, that is probably the most shady, and in greatest need of statutory reform. However, that is an ambitious long term project that cannot be addressed immediately.
- Local Land Use Planning (Chapter 65) — Law requiring cities to produce "Comprehensive Plans."
- Development Impact Fees (Chapter 82) — Laws restricting the ability of Cities to tax new developments.
- Idaho Housing and Finance Association (Chapter 62) — Statutes that established the extremely shady IHFA.
- Idaho Housing Trust Fund (Chatper 62) — Establishes a slush fund for "affordable housing."
- Initiatives and Referendums (Title 34, Chapter 18) — Useful in case an initiative or referendum is needed to restrict the rate of growth.
- Idaho Competition Act, Monopolies (Title 48, Chapter 1) — Why doesn't anyone complain when wealthy, influential companies monopolize development and land use?
- All Idaho Code and Statutes from 2005 to 2021
Givens Pursley is a law firm in Boise that Specializes in Property Rights and Land Use law. It has produced a number of Handbooks on matters related to Land Use, Growth and Development in Idaho.
PDF versions of all their handbooks can be downloaded from this website:
- Givens Pursely Publications: Of special interest are: Land Use Handbook, Road Law Handbook, Water Rights Handbook, and Urban Growth, Land Use Planning, and Water Rights Handbook.
5) Citizen Initiatives that have successfully limited growth
Kootenai County is not the first region to suffer from rapid and irresponsible development. In this section we provide information about towns that have successfully restricted growth, and information about local efforts to adopt similar measures. This will likely be an active topic of future research.
Post Falls, Rathdrum reject Citizen Growth Initiatives — Early in 2021, citizen groups in both Post Falls and Rathdrum proposed city initiatives to limit growth in the region. Both were rejected by administrators who claimed that initiatives dealing with land use matters were prohibited by Idaho law, but that is an overly broad description of a vary narrowly drawn limitation on citizen-sponsored referrendums. (The law that prohibits direct citizen control over zoning is describe from a pro-property rights viewpoint here). There is much that citizens can do to control the rate and type of growth in cities without explicity changing zoning ordinances.
Boulder City, Nevada: Chapter 41, Controlled Growth Management Plan — "In 1979 citizens of Boulder City Nevada approved a referendum and instituted a controlled growth ordinance. Due to this unique ordinance, the City limits the number of residential and hotel/motel building permits issued each year to control the rate of growth of the community. Since the inception of the controlled growth ordinance, the growth of the community has been approximately 3% per year.
Lakewood, Colorado: Lakewood Strategic Growth Initiative — The city of Lakewood suffered dramatic problems related to growth when densities were revised to provide for more "multi-family" development. The Lakewood SGI was promoted by a community group, and passed by a large margin in 2019. It restricts total growth to 1% per year, and puts strict limitations on developments of more than 40 units.
- Facts : Short summary of the problems the Lakewood SGI was intended to address
- Documents: Text of the initiative, press releases and other documents realted to Lakewood SGI.