Ada Commishes Show Growthopbobe Traits

One bright spot on the New Year horizon came Wednesday night at the Ada County Commish meeting when all three members demonstrated at least a small dose of GROWTHOPHOBIA.

They seem to think 8.6 dwelling units per acre is about double the appropriate number of homes for the proposed Dry Creek “Planned Community.” The group delayed consideration of a development proposal that could have added as many as 4,300 homes on 1414 acres in the northwest foothills off Highway 55 and Dry Creek Road.

At the Wednesday meeting commissioners discussed their concerns about the density of the 4,300 home planned community and instructed staff to work with the applicant to explore ways the housing density could be dramatically reduced while still keeping the project viable. They may not be TRUE GROWTHOPHOBES, but they do show some symptoms.

A final decision on the Dry Creek Planned Community is scheduled for a public hearing March 11.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. If someone wants to cram that many houses on one acre why don’t they do it with infill adjacent to already developed areas.

    Look what a piece of garbage Avimore is turning out to be. You have to feel sorry for the few morons who bought up there. Planned community my butt.

  2. Tom Anderson
    Jan 7, 2009, 11:55 pm

    I know what the commishes were thinking… “lawns deserve to be bigger than that!”

    4,300? Why not 43 thousand homes? Why build the worlds largest skyscraper there to enhance our wonderful view of the foothills, and make us a ‘world class’ city?

    This will be just another place where they destroy the valley, then build 5 homes and go out of business.

  3. With 4,300 homes, it was estimated that 65,000 car trips per day would be generated. Half the homes would still result in over 30,000 trips each day, and many of those cars would end up on State St., Eagle Rd, etc. It’s STILL a nightmare! We don’t have the road capacity to support it. Let’s kill this monster once and for all!

    Besides that, the foothills are beautiful and should be protected from such massively dense development.

    BTW, it’s being said that NOT ONE home has yet sold at Avimor.

  4. Clippityclop
    Jan 8, 2009, 7:58 am

    Actually, according to the MLS, Avimor hasn’t sold a single home. I suspect that anyone living up there is a ‘plant.’ As for Dry Creek Ranch, I was stunned that the Commissioners balked on density but very glad. Further, outgoing Commissioner Paul Woods made it clear that he wanted to see a more detailed plan in place with both ITD and ACHD for funding of infrastructure improvements, particularly along SH 55. The rest of the Commissiones agreed and that, too, was rolled into the motion to delay.

    I do not believe this developer has any intention of moving forward with this project and is looking to sell it, as well as any municipal water right they may be granted by IDWR, as soon as possible. They unfortunately bought this piece of land at the top of the market and frankly, I’ll be amazed if they even make that money back.

  5. Twisting in the Wind
    Jan 8, 2009, 9:18 am

    It is hard to feel sorry for developers, and it probably didn’t take much prodding but, if I remember correctly, the reason the proposed densities were so high was because densities of this magnitude were a requirement of the the planned community ordinance that was in place at the time.

    My guess is that the growthaholics in chief, namely Tilman and Yzaguirre, figured they might get lynched when, in the middle of a recession, the public woke up to the fact that they would have to front the $100 million – $300 million tab for expanding Hwy 55 enough to absorb the 40,000+ daily vehicle trips this mutt would generate. But, even here, you can’t blame the developer for not wanting to pay the cost of transportation upgrades. After all, the commission made no such demands on Avimor, Cartwright Ranch, The Cliffs, or Arbor HIlls.

    The fact is, land use planning Ada County style, is a disaster. The commission lurches from one dysfunctional view of the future to the next. They seem to favor developers, at the expense of cities and the general public. In the process they make it worse for everyone.

  6. Maybe its time to kill the planned community ordinance at the County level altogether. Follow the Blueprint for Good Growth and put them in city Areas of Impact only…and only “if” the city wants to deal with them. Leave the County land rural.

  7. Realtor Dude
    Jan 8, 2009, 12:28 pm

    I don’t know if anyone is living at Avimor but I can confirm that, as of today, there are still no closings listed with the Multiple Listing Service

  8. The Boise Picayune
    Jan 8, 2009, 1:05 pm

    Growth is not necessarily a bad thing. Au contraire.

    Boise~Angles style sprawl, crime, pollution, degeneration of infrastructure and a quality of life that is slipping away as I hunt-and-peck, are.

    Along with a Downtown controlled by a shadow government (CCDC) and rackets (DBA) answerable to no one. Not even to the City Attorney’s Office apparently.

  9. Ada County approach in recent years: “Reduce your footprint and create more open-space by increasing your density…but still we want your project to be viable because we want the tax flow.”

    Ada County the other day: “Reduce your density now…but still we want your project to be viable because we want the tax flow.”

    Ahh…government at its finest!

  10. Interesting how the perception of the foothills has changed over the years. My family moved here 31 years ago. When I was kid, the foothills were all private ranch land…it was pretty barren and the native flora and fauna had already been severly impacted by a few generations of cattle and sheep ranching. We thought of them as barren wastelands…good for nothing but the cows…some even called them “the boonies” or “the badlands”.

    After a decade of NIMBY’s moving into the Treasure Valley and when evil out-of-state developers express interest in the barren wastelands…suddenly everyone thinks of the foothills as some lush and pristine paradise for wildlife that must be preserved in its native and natural state.

    Let’s get this straight folks…the foothills are in terrible shape. They are being restored to their more natural and native state by the developers and at their own expense. The foothills are now more open to the public than ever before for all to enjoy their re-emerging pristine-ness. Riparian areas are being restored, native plants are being planted, wildlife migrating cooridors are being preserved and protected against development, grazing animals-for-food are slowing being moved off the land, densities are being condensed and confined to small areas.

    If all we environmentalist and quality-of-life enthusiasts were to sit back and take another look at it…foothills development is exactly what we would have wanted for the valley floor decades ago.

  11. Clippityclop
    Jan 8, 2009, 4:55 pm

    I have lived here for 45 years, not exactly a NIMBY transplant. What color is the sky in your world? Hidden Springs has been a horrible steward when it comes to noxious weed control and hasn’t even managed their orchard (marketing tool) well. Further, their grading of the 8th addition was criminal and destroyed Currant Creek. Wake up, mister! Foothills development is a tale of broken promises.

  12. Blazing Saddle
    Jan 8, 2009, 5:55 pm

    Roberto, I am confused. How can it be bad for ag land when you cover it with houses, and not be bad for wild life when you cover their habitat with houses?

  13. The Boise City planners have to fund the ponzi scheme they’ve built somehow. How else besides more property tax revenue will they pay rent and interest on loans for tax sheltered, privately owned, public infrastructure ?
    Is there something in our water supply that keeps mutating moronitude?

  14. Wildlife a hundred years ago didn’t much concern the pioneers and settlers of this valley. They were more concerned about eking out a living by tilling up the land and running their animals on it. Now that we are “enlightened” and environmentally aware of the importance of the ecosystem and all it parts, we are learning to be better stewards of the land. As an avid outdoorsman I have witnessed that animals, insects and plants generally stick to the unbuildable areas of the foothills. Migration corridors on the flat areas must be provided and preserved. I’m not saying that all the foothills developers will do everything perfect and I am sorry to hear when they muck it up. I guess I’m saying that many growthophobes can’t see past the blood squirting out of their eyes to see good things happening when they indeed are. I guess I’m saying that I see a lot of duplicity in the growthophobic position. You claim to be the intellectual elite and most cultured of all mankind, but your personal development has come to you because of growth and development of communities and society. If you want a sleepy little town without all the luxuries, this is not the place. Sleepy little towns have their charm, but most of you wouldn’t be here if this was a sleepy little town.

  15. Roberto, I ain’t no tree hugger and ain’t really a growthaphobe. I am smart enough to know that 8 units per acre sucks no matter where it is! In addition, I sure ain’t no intellectual elite, and I don’t know what culture is. but I am aware enough that when someone says that the developers in this valley are the ones returning it to a “pristene” condition, they need transportation to St. Michaels (mental health ward) quickly!

  16. Tom Anderson
    Jan 9, 2009, 12:54 am

    I’ve been visiting Boise for 44 years, moved here in 1990 for good, and it was a pretty sleepy little place in 1990. It took 3 tries for the phone company to hook up my phone, and customer service in stores was slow and sleepy to say the least. I LOVED IT!

    I moved here from Orange County, CA. It used to be the best place in the world. When I moved here, it literally took 4 hours of crawling freeway traffic to leave town on a Friday afternoon.

    Why must people think that the logical thing to do is grow, when growth always ends up changing the character of a place for the worse? What’s logical about that?

  17. Blazing Saddle
    Jan 9, 2009, 10:28 am

    I always figured that towns is like fishin’ holes. Good ones is hard to find. And, if you find one, the last thing you want to do is tell some one about em. Soon’s you do, you will have to elbow your way past a herd of jamokes who have no appreciation for what they have destroyed by their mere presence. And, the fish will be long gone.

    I lived here before it was a one horse town. It was a nice place, but a lot of people blabbed. We’ve got more horses now, and a lot more other stuff too. About the only thing I can see that’s better is the coffee, and the coffee is not good enough to make up for what’s been lost.

  18. Roberto,

    You seem to be saying two different things. In your first response you claim that residents thought of the foothills as worthless and no one cared about preserving them until developers started showing interest in them, and correspondingly, have either elected or have been forced to use conservation strategies in their developments. You seem to imply that developers have not only led this movement, but are the ones responsible for the foothills’ repair.

    In your next comment you refine that thought by saying that “we” have learned better land stewardship practices, and then assume that none of us would be here and care without growth.

    It’s not hard to spot the fallacies and disconnects in both comments. I do agree that as a society “we” better understand land stewardship, and that yeah, some developments have been somewhat progressive in their open space and native lands repair work. But I won’t make the stretch that development has lead the charge for the preservation and repair of the foothills, or of stewardship attitudes anywhere.

    I simply find it hard to believe that you think that placing thousands of homes and roads up and down the foothills slopes’ is in any way a benefit to the land, vegetation, and wildlife there, simply because it has removed the grazing that might have once occurred there. I mean, that’s more than a little silly.

  19. Rod in SE Boise
    Jan 9, 2009, 5:36 pm

    4300 homes? Why not just reject this application as un-doable, due to the recession, which will last at least through 2010. There is a staggering over-capacity of already approved subdivisions and lots in the area. It may take decades to use them up before any new subdivisions should be approved.

  20. Roberto,
    So if what you say is true, how come the outdoorsman in me can’t seem to find a pheasant to hunt anymore in this valley except at a pay to hunt bird lot? Is huntin up deals at Cabelas considered outdoorsmanshiping?

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