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Huge Turnout for CBH Homes/Trilogy Meeting

posted Jan 14, 2018, 2:03 PM by Richard Llewellyn

“This is my biggest meeting!” exclaimed developer representative Jane Suggs to an assembly of 200 restless neighbors that filled the Shadow Hills Elementary School in Northwest Boise Monday night (Dec 18).  She was presenting a plan on behalf of developers Trilogy Development and Corey Barton Homes, who will be seeking approval from the city of Boise to place a three-story apartment complex, townhouses, and single family homes on the 38 acre farmland located on both sides of Hill Road Parkway between Duncan and Bogart Lanes.


Residents attending the meeting expressed dismay at the size of the project in an area known for its open space and rural character, as well as concern with already crowded roads and schools. Much criticism was directed toward the plan to create three new entrances onto Hill Road Parkway, as well as two onto Bogart, in order to serve the 300 plus unit housing development.  “It’s really dangerous already” said Daniel Black, who has lived for decades with his family on a rural homestead directly west of the planned development.  Several area residents expressed concern that cars were already travelling at unsafe speeds along two-lane country roads and neighborhood streets as traffic from recently-completed apartments sought faster access to State Street and Gary Lane.  Others noted that much of this traffic will spill onto Hill Road through the North End in order to avoid State Street on the way into downtown Boise.


School overcrowding was also raised by a number of individuals.  “Shadow Hills Elementary was overcrowded when my 25 year old daughter was in school,” noted one mother from the audience.  Riverglen Junior High and Rolling Hills have also been heavily impacted by the growth in the area, other parents added, and some have full waitlists.

Other concerns presented were that the proposal did not fit into the existing agricultural land use that has long provided de facto wildlife habitat, as well as the opportunity to enjoy the tranquility of the last remaining rural area in Boise at the edge of the foothills. When the question of wildlife habitat was raised, Ms. Suggs pointed to the public Optimist Sports Complex and Magnolia Park, but the audience loudly countered that these parks were unfinished, and did not mitigate the loss of habitat for the deer, fox, owls, hawks, and other animals appreciated by both locals and people visiting the Dry Creek or Veterans Cemetery and nearby foothills trails.


Dennis Dunn, Vice President of the newly reactivated North West Neighborhood Association, said that he found that the hurried process governing development projects doesn’t necessarily set the stage for quality decision making regarding what is in the best interest of our communities.  Further this process is not easily navigated by concerned neighbors when they find themselves confronted by irreversible changes near their homes.  He expressed that this appeared to be a problem across all of Boise .  Furthermore, influencing the planning process during the current explosion of growth is critical at this point in time, he said.  Unique to this situation is the fact that when the comprehensive plan was developed which is now being considered somewhat of a guiding document, the area being considered for development was not a part of the city of Boise.



The North West Neighborhood, the area bounded by Gary Lane, State Street, Hill Road, and Horseshoe Bend Road, was recently annexed into Boise by a contentious process that ended in December of 2015.  Since that time, a number of large developments have been completed, or are in the construction or planning phase, in the traditionally agricultural neighborhood on the outskirts of Boise.  According to Boise Planning and Zoning, over the last three years, 507 apartment units, 209 townhouses, and 13 single family homes have been added to the North West Boise Neighborhood.


“Many people live here in order to keep sheep, horses, goats, big gardens, and have that close community feel that comes with getting to know your neighbors by talking over the fence line,” Richard Llewellyn, President of the neighborhood association stated. “We’ve gotten to know each other over decades -- have different politics and religions, but that doesn’t matter.  We have a real neighborhood with deep roots, and this kind of huge development disrupts and threatens that.  Change is coming, but we want it to fit into what we already have. ”


The newly-reactivated neighborhood association met again Tuesday night to finalize board members and organize to halt the project while getting the message out to the larger city that a unique part of Boise will undergo irreversible change if the developers’ project passes Planning and Zoning and then is approved by the City Council.  Currently most of this land, which was farmed until last year when a dispute over the leasing agreement arose, is zoned R-1A, which allows a maximum of 2.1 houses per acre.   


Contacts:


Richard Llewellyn, President NWNA: llewelr@gmail.com, (208) 419-7527

Dennis Dunn, Vice President NWNA: dennisdunn07@gmail.com (208) 949-1919

Karen Danley, Board Member NWNA: karen.danley67@gmail.com (208) 602-9620




Area north of Hill Road Parkway looking northeast.  Property to be developed is behind photo (toward Duncan Lane), to right of photo (across Hill Road Parkway), and beyond the fence line looking toward Bogart Lane.  This area represents the only remaining connection between traditional farming of Boise River bottomland and the foothills.



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