Current News


Sabana subdivision proposal passes ACHD

posted Mar 30, 2018, 12:11 PM by Richard Llewellyn

The CBH/Trilogy 'Sabana' proposal in SW Boise received ACHD's approval tonight, with Jim Hansen and Kent Goldthorpe voting to deny based on safety concerns. We appreciate those votes. Paul Woods considered making a conditional approval based in part on safety, but also lack of current improvements on Victory to the west, but apparently could not add conditions, as we understood it. We'll need to rewatch the hearing video to make sure our facts are right regarding the final vote (https://achdidaho.civicweb.net/document/5205…).
NWNA's request to support existing policy regarding level of service did have some effect -- in the last week CBH/Trilogy agreed to pay for road widening along Victory adjacent to Sabana, which meant that they no longer required a waiver to this LOS policy. I also believe we put in a good showing with an impressive number of people standing to support our statement requesting that policy be upheld so that the required road improvements be built before development. Sabana will now move on to Boise P&Z.
There were other positive signs -- Ada County Commissioner Rick Visser came to ask denial for Sabana due his constituents becoming increasingly unhappy with growth, especially before infrastructure was built to accommodate it. We also learned more about how ACHD hearings, and how we can be effective when Prominence comes up. Thanks all who showed up or commented -- this was our first showing at a public hearing, and I think we did well.

ATTEND ACHD HEARING THIS WED MAR 28 6 pm

posted Mar 24, 2018, 10:07 AM by Richard Llewellyn   [ updated Mar 24, 2018, 10:13 AM ]

ATTEND ACHD HEARING THIS WED MAR 28 6 pm TO SUPPORT UPHOLDING POLICY AND ADDRESS SAFETY BEFORE ALLOWING NEW DEVELOPMENT! 
Hearing will include CBH/Trilogy's Sabana proposal in SW Boise/Ada County this Wed 6 pm!  Here's NWNA's plan:

1) Submit a comment to ACHD supporting upholding policy for our roadways and traffic (see below).
2) Attend the hearing!  Decorum is essential.  We are there to politely show support.
3) NWNA leadership will make a brief statement at the hearing, and may ask you to stand to show your support.
4) We suggest that you do not testify at this hearing, unless you have concerns specifically to the Victory Rd / Cloverdale area.

Each big development must go through ACHD (Ada County Highway Department) for approval before going to the city Planning and Zoning.  Earlier this year, our elected ACHD Commissioners decided not to grant CBH/Trilogy a waiver to their existing policy that roads must be able to handle the additional traffic generated by a new development.  This denial of a waiver to policy was unprecedented, and unpopular among developers. We as the public need to show our support of existing policy and the Commissioners that uphold it!  

i) Here is a link to the ACHD Comment form:

(Note -- you may need to copy / paste these website urls into your browser if links do not work.)

The comment form has a Subject box -- one might use “Thank you for upholding ACHD policy for the Sabana Subdivision proposal.”  There is also a Point of Reference box --  use “4585 E. Victory Road”
Finally, there is a Category dropdown -- use Other.

Here is a sample comment:

Dear ACHD Commissioners,

I am writing you today to express my strong support of your recent decision to uphold existing ACHD policy regarding level of service and safety during your consideration of the Sabana subdivision proposal at 4585 E. Victory Road.  ACHD policy exists in order to ensure safe conditions on our roadways, and I have become increasingly concerned with safety as the level of traffic has increased substantially on many roads as our county undergoes unprecedented growth.  There may have been reason to grant policy waivers during the economic crisis--indeed, many exceptions were made to public policy around the nation in order to recover from the Great Recession.  Now, however, maintaining adequate roadways for our safety, as well as our quality of life, should take precedence over all other concerns.  I understand that it may be unpopular to return to policy now that waivers have been granted with some frequency, but it is exactly at this time of rapid growth that upholding policy is essential.  It is also sound fiscal policy to collect funding for necessary road improvements before allowing development to proceed.  If funding is not available, I support delaying approval of developments until that funding can be secured, rather than granting exceptions to policy, which is essentially borrowing from the future.  If delaying approval of developments until roadway improvements can be made is not acceptable to all parties, we must have a frank public discussion about the need for more funding, whether by increasing property taxes on existing residents, or increasing the impact fees paid by developers.  Ada County residents will support our ACHD Commissioners in continuing to make the difficult decision to uphold existing policy for the long term benefit of all.
Sincerely, 
Your name

ii) Here is a link to the Mar 28 Hearing Agenda:

iii) If you want more detailed information, here is a link to ACHD's report for the Sabana proposal:

The hearing is this Wed 6pm sharp (don't be late!) at the ACHD building in Garden City: 3775 Adams St.  You can sign in and mark that you do or do not (suggested unless you have specific concerns about Sabana) want to testify.

Gary Lane to Lose Future Park

posted Mar 4, 2018, 9:20 AM by Richard Llewellyn

Rather than become a park, the city-owned open space near Tobi Street on Gary Lane will now house the new location for the Boise Fire Station currently located on Glenwood. NWNA attended a meeting on Wednesday with Pierce Park Neighborhood Association, Fire Chief Doan, and City Parks Directory Doug Holloway to hear about the change.
Chief Doan has been working with Boise City Councilmember Lauren McLean and Elaine Clegg on the Boise City Council to make the new station fit into the neighborhood as much as possible, including substantial changes to a typical fire station layout to include a small amenity or two -- perhaps a basket ball court, community garden, or picnic tables. Let your city council members know your preference.
From the perspective of NWNA, this loss shows a lack of detailed long-term planning that must accompany the high density development that is part of the Transit Oriented Development Nodes planned for the State Street Corridor. This future park in particular was meant to maintain livability for our neighborhood upon the loss of the open space that is now the Kensington Apts and associated commercial hub.

Parks Director Doug Holloway is actively looking for a new location for a replacement park nearby, but has said that it is very difficult to find any large enough lots that the city might obtain in this compactly-built neighborhood. If the loss of the park is important to you, let councilmembers and Boise Parks and Recreation know that a replacement must be found nearby, even if it is expensive for the city, and any leads you may have on potential land. The city already owns land to the east that was reserved for the Fire Station -- this land could pay for part of the cost of paying for a new site.

Corey Barton appealing ACHD decision in SW Boise

posted Feb 27, 2018, 9:50 AM by Richard Llewellyn   [ updated Feb 27, 2018, 11:39 AM ]

Here is a letter from folks in SW Boise / Ada County that are dealing with explosive growth in an area with country roads.  ACHD did not approve a CBH development due to the inadequate roads.  Corey Barton is appealing with the argument that because ACHD has granted policy waivers in the past, they must continue to do so in the future.  Our neighborhood will be adversely impacted if ACHD policies are disregarded.
Please read this letter and write ACHD commissioners to support upholding existing ACHD policies.  After all, how can we work with the agency as a neighborhood if their policies can easily be waived to accommodate a developer's project?
Use the ACHD form to submit comments: 

###########################################################################

February 21, 2018


Mr. Bruce Wong, Director & ACHD Commissioners

Ada County Highway District

3775 Adams Street

Garden City, ID  83714


Dear Mr. Wong and ACHD Commissioners,


Southwest Ada County Alliance (SWACA) and the residents that live within it’s boundaries are becoming increasingly concerned about the impact new developments are having on existing infrastructure and roads.   Most roads in Southwest Boise and South Meridian to Kuna are two lane section line roads, there are several intersections that are not yet signalized and some that are still two way stops.    This area of Ada Co. is projected to grow at an enormous rate over the next two decades, and COMPASS projections show that South Meridian, SW Boise and Kuna will add over 60,000 residents by 2040.  

Recently, a project has come before Ada County Highway District (ACHD) that has the potential to shape how development is managed when the roads impacted are already below an acceptable level of service.  ACHD rates a road’s level of service (LOS) based upon the amount of traffic that occurs during peak usage times in the morning and evening rush hours.   Per ACHD’s Policy, the minimum acceptable LOS shall be LOS E for Principal Arterials and Minor Arterials and LOS D for Collectors.  A recommendation to waive the LOS policy by ACHD staff is not sufficient, waivers must be granted by a majority vote of the ACHD Commissioners.


The proposed project, by CBH Homes, called Sabana Subdivision, is located just West of Cloverdale on Victory Road.  CBH Homes proposed to build 11 townhouses, 3 duplexes and 11 houses on 4.7 acres.  Traffic counts on Victory, a minor arterial, on 6/14/17 show it is operating at a LOS F, which is the lowest rating a street can be given.  Additionally, the section of Cloverdale Rd to the East of this project is also at a LOS F.  Victory Rd is not scheduled to be widened or improved until 2026-2030 and Cloverdale is scheduled for widening between 2021-2025.  At the ACHD meeting on January 24, 2018, ACHD Commissioners voted unanimously to deny the plat based on Victory being at a LOS F with no plans to improve it for ten years.   Without the developer taking further action, this denial would have stopped the project from advancing through Boise Planning and Zoning.   SWACA and the neighbors who live along Victory Rd., as well as those who testified at the January meeting, would like to thank the Commissioners for taking a stand and enforcing their established policies to ensure that our roads are well managed and safe, and our streets are not further choked with traffic.  Unfortunately, after an appeal from the developer, on February 7, 2018, the Commissioners voted 3 in favor and 2 against to reconsider their decision and the issue was placed on the March 28th agenda.  Again, SWACA and neighbors would like to thank Commissioner Hansen and Commissioner Goldthorpe for voting no and sticking with their original decision.   CBH Homes/WHPacific, in a letter to the Commissioners, stated they have new information to present.  This “new information” argues largely that in the past, granting of waivers, or modification of ACHD policy has been standard practice to allow development to proceed and that such practice should continue into the future.   According to a public records request to ACHD, in 2016 & 2017 five waivers or modifications for LOS F were granted.  SWACA is currently reviewing ACHD documents from the last ten years to see how many more developments were approved with a waiver of LOS.  


At a pre-commission session on February 14, 2018, ACHD discussed future developments in SW Ada Co.  One issue was how does ACHD balance growth with the reality of their budget?  ACHD does not have the funds to maintain the current roads as well as develop miles and miles of roads to prepare for future possible developments.  Some options for increasing ACHD revenue were discussed, among them increasing impact fees on developers and/or increasing property taxes on all Ada Co. residents.  SWACA’s position is that current residents should not see higher property taxes so that a for- profit developer, who decided to purchase a parcel of land on roads that cannot handle the increase in traffic, can realize a profit.  Another option discussed was to deny future subdivisions on roads that are operating at a LOS F until ACHD can afford to improve the road.   SWACA strongly recommends that ACHD refrain from granting waivers or modifications of policy when the LOS is at an F (or LOS E for collectors) and when a re-zoning to increase density is also proposed.  This will maintain the owner’s/developer’s private property rights, allowing them to develop their land at the zoning that was in effect when they bought the property, it will continue to allow for growth, and it will protect existing residents who already live in those areas of Ada Co.  Granting of waivers and modifications of LOS should NOT continue.  ACHD has a responsibility to Ada County voters and tax payers to uphold safety standards and adhere to existing policy.


To lend your support to ending the granting of LOS waivers by ACHD please contact SWACA President Betty Bermensolo at BSOLO6@msn.com or Marisa Keith at mkeithboise@gmail.com


Sincerely,


Betty Bermensolo, SWACA &

Marisa Keith




Cc: David Frazier, Boise Guardian

     Sven Berg, Idaho Statesman

     Michelle Edmonds, KIVI

     Senator Cliff Bayer

     Vanishing Boise

     Boise Weekly

     SWACA Board of Directors


Paid volunteers needed for National Street Service study

posted Feb 13, 2018, 3:32 PM by Richard Llewellyn

Dennis Dunn, our NWNA VP, was chosen by the city as one of a few citizens to participate in the selection of two cities by the National Street Service. Boise and Philadelphia won. Good job Dennis! The organizers are now looking for paid volunteers to help study Boise streets.   See the flyer below.
Image may contain: text and outdoor

Mouser Letter to the Editor

posted Feb 11, 2018, 8:46 AM by Richard Llewellyn

January 30, 2018 03:36 PM

I am very concerned about CBH/Trilogy planning to ask for city approval to build about 300 units between Duncan and Bogart on idyllic Hill Road. They want to cram these large green fields with three-story apartment buildings and tract houses just as they have at other locations in our neighborhood. Enough is enough.

As a long-time resident, I cannot express the pleasure it brings to see cyclists consistently cruise by and even horse riders. This is the destination to enjoy a taste of rural living while enjoying Boise city life. The number of bikers and walkers on Hill Road attest to the importance of maintaining a rural element here. Preserving open space is important to more than the Foothills, and even city parks do not fulfill the same need as the natural and agricultural landscape we currently enjoy.

Historic Hill Road not only has green crops, but grapes growing, sheep grazing, as well as llamas and horses. It would be extremely sad to have this all evaporate and transform to endless tracts of housing and apartments. Please join the fight — Boise has been voted the No. 1 place to live for a reason.

BETH MOUSER, BOISE

http://www.idahostatesman.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/article197463459.html

Letter to Idaho District 19 Legislators

posted Feb 5, 2018, 8:06 PM by Richard Llewellyn   [ updated Feb 5, 2018, 8:06 PM ]

Dear Senator Buckner-Webb,


Thank you for coming out to our neighborhood and graciously shifting your evening agenda to fully listen to our concerns last week.  We think it was a positive town hall meeting both to hear you speak about your work on our behalf at the state level, and for you to hear from us.  Cherie Buckner-Webb asked that we as a group give her a list of our concerns so that she could represent us accurately when speaking to city leaders.  We have recently reactivated the North West Neighborhood Association of Boise, and in that capacity, we would like to follow up with all of you and outline our most pressing local concerns, which are primarily related to the unprecedented rate of neighborhood-changing growth.


  • The proposed rezone and high density development along Hill Road Parkway threatens the historic, ecological, and recreational value of this last rural connection of the foothills and farmland in Boise.

  • The State Street Corridor is bringing density, but not livability in the form of pedestrian and bicycle connectivity, aesthetic and structural transitions, protection of adjacent traditional agricultural land use that provides both ecological services and open space.  Successful Transit Oriented Development is not achieved by simply encouraging density, but organizing it in a harmonious and functional manner.

  • According to city-compiled data, in the last three years, more than 95% of new housing constructed has been either apartments or townhouses, much of it as investment rental properties.  This represents a massive structural change to the character and demographics of our neighborhood.

  • Growth in our neighborhood is outpacing investments in infrastructure, which is apparent in the increase in local traffic, the crowding of schools, the lack of police, and distance from fire stations.


These concerns are outlined in more detail in the attached pages.  We are currently working on compiling a neighborhood plan from communications regarding land use in this area during the last several decades, but our city-sanctioned plan cannot be completed for at least a year and a half, as it relies on city funding and outside consulting.  The Comprehensive Plan that designates much of our area as Compact or Mixed Use was completed before we were part of the city and thus were not adequately represented.  We are therefore at a disadvantage in ensuring that our neighborhood vision is followed and our livability enhanced during these years following annexation.  


On behalf of our neighborhood, a sincere thank you for all of your work for citizens of Idaho,


Richard Llewellyn

NWNA President

PhD Biochemistry


Developer meeting 9689, 9731 W. Shields Ave.

posted Jan 24, 2018, 8:33 AM by Richard Llewellyn

Here is an email received late last night regarding a required developer meeting for a 20 house proposal: 

Prior to submittal of a development application, Boise City Code requires a meeting between the applicant and neighbors.  We would like to provide you with this notice and meet and review our project which is to be located at the properties currently addressed as 9689 and 9731 W. Shields Avenue, Boise ID 83714.  


You may have received a notice about this project previously but I also wanted to email you about our upcoming meeting.  Additionally, our project has grown in scope with the addition of the property located at 9731 W. Shields  Ave. and we wanted an opportunity to discuss it with you.


This is not a formal public hearing, and public officials will not be present.  We would simply like to take the opportunity to explain what we are proposing and answer any potential questions you may have.  If you have questions that you would like to address with Boise City Planning and Zoning, you can reach them at (208) 384-3830.


Meeting & Project Summary:


Purpose:  To review the project details for a 20 lot planned unit development (20 single family residential homes and common area).


When:  Thursday, January 25th at 7pm


Where:  9689 W. Shields Avenue, Boise ID 83714 (one of the subject properties)


Project Description:  We will be applying to the City to build 20 single level, detached single family residential homes.  Our current house floor plan has 3 bedrooms, 2 baths 1,067 square feet with a detached 2-car garage.  We have included a sample site plan for your review.  To be clear, we are in the design phase so there may be some adjustments.


If you aren’t able to attend the meeting, or if you would simply like to discuss the project, you can reach Brian Peavey at (208) 631-2020 or via email at brianpeavey@gmail.com


Sincerely,              

Brian Peavey and Robert Mairs

Apartments, townhouses, CBH sprawl

posted Jan 19, 2018, 4:43 PM by Richard Llewellyn   [ updated Jan 23, 2018, 9:51 AM ]

A plan only a developer could love.
Neighbors gazing at the developers' plan for 310 units on existing farmland as the future of our neighborhood.  North is facing the single water glass (upper left), Duncan Lane is on the edge of the plan (near edge), Bogart Lane on the far edge.  The two lanes of Hill Road Parkway run through the center.  The proposal has three entrances onto the Parkway -- a full entrance at Duncan to service a single row of 2 story townhouses, and two single lane entrances.  Another two entrances on Bogart and one on Duncan will allow traffic to enter the Parkway and contribute to the congestion along Hill Road or at Gary and State.

The eastern portion of the proposal -- Old Hill Road to the north (top), Bogart Lane on left.  The 3 story apartments and 2 story townhouses will block existing views of the foothills for those neighbors living just south of the drain ditch. 
How to make a blind curve even worse?  Add a second full entrance!  This western portion of the proposal includes a full entrance onto both lanes of Hill Road Parkway in order to cram the small irrigated field to the north with townhouses.  Duncan Lane along the top edge (west).  North to right.

Help us protect this open space!

posted Jan 19, 2018, 4:11 PM by Richard Llewellyn   [ updated Jan 19, 2018, 4:21 PM ]

Sign the Petition!
If you have driven the Hill Road Parkway out toward Highway 55, you probably noticed something new.  Our petition drive to protect these open spaces is gaining momentum -- we are approaching 700 counting both paper and online signatories!  Supporters have left many great comments about the value of this farmland for open space, wildlife, and our historical heritage along the route of the Oregon Trail to Dry Creek Cemetery (founded 1864).


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