The people reserve to themselves the power to approve or reject at the polls any act or measure passed by the legislature. This power is known as the referendum, and legal voters may, under such conditions and in such manner as may be provided by acts of the legislature, demand a referendum vote on any act or measure passed by the legislature and cause the same to be submitted to a vote of the people for their approval or rejection.”
— Article III, Section I, Idaho Constitution

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The board of county commissioners of each county shall provide by ordinance for direct legislation by the people through the initiative and referendum. For the purposes of this section, “initiative” means the right of the people at an election to adopt, amend or repeal legislation. “Referendum” means the right of the people at an election to approve or reject legislation adopted by the board of county commissioners.
— Title 31, Chapter 7, Idaho Code
The people of Ada County shall have the right to enact ordinances through the initiative process, and to repeal ordinances through the referendum process, according to the procedures set forth herein.”
— Title 1, Chapter 5, Ada County Code

WHAT IS A REFERENDUM? 

According to Idaho Code 31-717, citizens have the right to approve or reject legislation adopted by the Board of County Commissioners. Known as a referendum, this power has been given to citizens by the Idaho Constitution.

OUR PETITION FOR REFERENDUM

On February 21, 2017, the Ada County Board of County Commissioners adopted Ordinance 864. Ordinance 864 is a body of amendments governing the Dry Creek Ranch subdivision proposed by Boise Hunter Homes. 

Throughout this process, the community has been deprived of their right to have their voices heard in any meaningful way regarding this development. The subdivision proposed by Boise Hunter Homes will have a larger population than 86% of municipalities in the state of Idaho. Considering the magnitude of this development and its effects on  residents, we believe the public must be given a real chance to weigh in. The election a referendum would compel will allow them to do so. 

HOW DOES A REFERENDUM WORK?

Referendum petitioners have 180 days to collect the signatures of 20% of the qualified electors voting in Ada County's last general election. In the last general election (November 2016), 202,971 people voted. For the referendum to be successful, we will need to collect the signatures of roughly 50,000 registered voters in 6 months. 

THE ADA COUNTY CLERK'S REFUSAL TO FILE OUR INITIAL PETITION FOR REFERENDUM

On May 15, 2017, the Dry Creek Valley Coalition filed an initial petition for referendum. Ada County Clerk, Christopher D. Rich, refused to file the referendum petition, citing the petition as untimely. According to Idaho law and Ada County Code, the petition was not untimely. After giving Ada County the chance to rectify this error, we pursued litigation. Read more about this serious citizens' rights issue here.

On December 13, 2017, Judge Medema ordered Clerk Rich to file our initial petition for referendum. On December 14, 2017, pursuant to the judge's order, Clerk Rich filed our initial petition.

We are gathering signatures now. The referendum deadline is 7/30/18 at 5 PM. All signatures must be collected in person. 

We regret to report that we did not reach the required number of signatures needed for our referendum to be successful. Although we did not reach our goal, this political exercise was an extremely valuable endeavor and we will continue to fight this development.