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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: 

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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


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