If you live in an older home or have older trees on your property make sure you check before you make any big changes. Cutting down an old tree on your property may seem like no big deal but if it is considered a historic tree, it is in fact a very big deal. A very big deal indeed to the city of Boise and the Historic Preservation Society. Boise just approved new penalties for breaking preservation rules. The matter was raised after historic homes and historic trees were wrongly demolished in Boise's North End and in Boise's East End.

My mother and sister both live in Tucson and both study and work in Archeology and historic preservation. I know all too well how particular the historic preservation sector is when attempting to make any kind of changes. It can be incredibly frustrating for the home owner or land owner trying to make updates or changes and getting blocked by the city. My mother has dealt with it time and time again running a city owned historic ranch with multiple buildings used for offices, events, concerts, farmers markets and more. Anytime something needs updated she has a massive process to go through. The city of Boise is now following some of these other cities and how they handle historic properties, homes and trees.

According to the Idaho Press, "Boise City Council members approved new penalties for violating the code, which regulates improvements or demolitions of both residential and commercial properties within Boise’s 10 historic districts. City staff now can enforce a six-month construction delay when rules are broken, such as when historic trees are removed or historic buildings are demolished without permits. Councilman Patrick Bageant said, “Rather than imposing a uniform fine for everybody that obviously affects different people differently based on their means, it imposes essentially a stop-work order, which slows and delays the development, can cause all kinds of problems and is really cumbersome for everybody in an equal way.”

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Historic Items Hiding at the Old Idaho Penitentiary

Even if you take the tour at the Old Pen there is a lot behind the scenes that most people will sadly never see. Boise's Old Penitentiary houses and holds historic antiques of all kinds.