Boise City Council continued the long established pattern of secret land speculation and urban sprawl recently with a series of land swaps at a gateway freeway interchange southeast of town.
GUARDIAN sources speculate part of the secret deal likely involves city acquisition of 200 acres northwest of Eagle. In summary, it appears the city has traded prime real estate along the freeway and near St. Luke’s Hospital for 200 acres of desert 10 miles outside of Boise.
The Council uses land swaps to avoid the spirit of the law. Cities are allowed to EXCHANGE land for the benefit of the citizens, but if they SELL retail property, they are required by Idaho code to first declare the parcel as “surplus property” and then sell it to the highest bidder.
One councilor was good enough to respond to a GUARDIAN query, but refused to reveal any details regarding the trades even though the transactions were already approved by the Council. Even worse in our opinion, we have learned several media outlets were aware of the story and declined to report it.
This latest deal, approved November 9, is another of those convoluted menage a trois swaps. A California developer, J&M Land, cut a deal with the city to trade 31 acres of city land near the Eisenman Road and I-84 interchange South of Boise for 200 acres of “equal value.”
In another move, they agreed to trade 13 acres of land along Eisenman near I-84 back to J&M in exchange for the 5 acre Boise Armory site on Reserve St. near #1 Fire Station and Ft. Boise Park. Unknown if the 13 acre parcel is part of the 31 they swapped in the first deal.
The GUARDIAN would love to hear from anyone with FACTS about why the city did this deal without offering the land to the highest bidder as well as the ultimate justification for the quiet deals–presented by Team Dave to the council.
There is no link on the City of Boise website to the details of the deal to include appraisals or the purpose of the swap. It was done at a “special meeting” and possibly (probably) stemmed from a secret meeting conducted two weeks earlier. The council is ALLOWED to hold secret “executive sessions,” to consider land deals, personnel issues, and litigation, but there is no REQUIREMENT to hide their acts from public scrutiny. More of the promised “transparency?”
Click on CONTINUE READING for the resolution language.
R-355-11, A RESOLUTION APPROVING A REAL ESTATE OPTION AND EXCHANGE AGREEMENT WITH J & M LAND TO PROVIDE AN OPTION TO PURCHASE APPROXIMATELY 30.85 ACRES OF REAL PROPERTY ALONG EISENMAN ROAD AND INTERSTATE 84, AND AN EXCHANGE OF THE PROPERTY FOR APPROXIMATELY 199.499 ACRES OF REAL PROPERTY OF EQUAL VALUE; AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CITY CLERK TO EXECUTE AND ATTEST SAID AGREEMENT; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE
R-360-11, A RESOLUTION APPROVING A REAL ESTATE SALE AND EXCHANGE AGREEMENT WITH J & M LAND FOR THE PURCHASE BY J & M LAND OF APPROXIMATELY 13.02+/- ACRES OF REAL PROPERTY ALONG EISENMAN ROAD AND INTERSTATE 84; APPROVING AN EXCHANGE OF THE APPROXIMATELY 13.02+/- ACRES FOR APPROXIMATELY 5.18+/-ACRES OF REAL PROPERTY OF EQUAL VALUE AT THE BOISE ARMORY UPON SALE AND CLOSING; AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CITY CLERK TO EXECUTE AND ATTEST SAID AGREEMENT; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE
Presenter: John Brunelle, Mayor’s Office
ACTION REQUESTED: Approve Resolutions
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