February 2024 Newsletter

By now, many of you are becoming familiar with our Malad City Ordinance Officer, John Christophersen (email: or call 208-915-2422).

An ordinance is a law enacted by a municipality that may restrict a certain activity, but in some cases, they simply set forth requirements, such as those in the City Zoning Ordinance. Ordinances may address a wide variety of local issues, from local government structure to speed limits and public safety. However, rather than considering an ordinance a restriction, we should look at it as a protection for our citizens. There is a reason for every ordinance that Malad City has in place.

Before an ordinance is passed or amended, the City must provide notice of a hearing to the public. Notices are posted in the local newspaper, and sometimes notice is required by mail. This provides a chance for citizens to attend the hearing and voice their opinion regarding the ordinance and allows the City the right to explain why they believe the ordinance is necessary.

Under Idaho law, three readings are required for an ordinance to pass. Because the Malad City Council only meets once a month, the three-reading requirement would take three months to pass an ordinance. The Idaho Statutes provide that the three readings may be waived and the ordinance can be passed at the next meeting after the public hearings and discussions have been held.

There is usually a penalty for violating a city ordinance, and the city may prosecute offenders. It is Mr. Christophersen’s practice to provide warnings – anywhere from one to three – depending on the violation. If the warnings are ignored, then he may ticket the offender, which could result in a fine. 

The council is open to hearings for variances to ordinances; and, if the argument is considered valid, they will grant the variance.

It is hoped that all Malad citizens will make themselves familiar with the Malad City Ordinances. Many are already listed on the Malad City Website. During the past year, the City hired a company to codify their ordinances, which means they will be arranged so that it is easier for the council and citizens to find the municipal laws that may affect them. After the codification has been approved, other ordinances may be posted on the website.