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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