County

Ada County Buys Foreclosed Subdivision

First it was the Idaho Land Board purchasing a private storage business, now Ada County Commishes bought a foreclosed subdivision on 250 acres north of Hidden Springs and east of Highway 55 for $240,000.

Known as Red Hawk Estates, the development fell on hard times and was foreclosed by Bank of The Cascades from Dry Creek Partners on January 19. As provided by Idaho code, the land was sold at a Sheriff’s Sale on Tuesday.

The Ada Commishes–Sharon Ullman and Rick Yzaguirre–rammed the deal through with a last minute change to the agenda and voted to place a bid. They met in executive session prior to authorizing the bid at the Sheriff’s Sale.

Efforts to get an explanation from various county staffers and officials regarding the motivation for the purchase have been futile. No one can tell us WHY the county purchased an undeveloped platted subdivision. There was only one other bidder at the auction. That party placed a bid of $230,000 on the barren foothills land.

The foreclosure and sale were properly advertised, but based on records and agendas posted at the Commish site, we can’t see any public discussion or consideration that would justify the sudden expenditure.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Well.. they have a fair, a wedding venue, horse racing—why not real estate development? Luckily they also have an election department and one is coming up in November. I would have said next week, but they have closed out we independents.

  2. Maybe they need space for all the garbage that will never be incinerated.

  3. Maybe they want to expand the landfill? (sarcasm)

  4. Most likely because it was platted before the Dynamis deal. Now with Dynamis seemingly moving forward and that proposed sub being fairly close and downwind to the burner, they nipped it in the bud so to speak.

    So by keeping the land out of developer’s hands, no houses, no complaints.

  5. chicago sam
    May 10, 2012, 9:33 pm

    So does the county get payed the back taxes out of the $240,000.
    They may have gotten the property for almost nothing. Of course the property will now be exempt from taxes

  6. sure wish I worked for the Idaho state government, so that I was free to do what ever I wanted whenever I wanted, from building my own home with wood from public lands, to buying the land with public money, and just out-right taking money that was collected through taxes ie: john bujak. What wonderful leaders we have here, I can see why people still block vote for republicans every election, they never cease to amaze. It is almost hilarious to see this debacle run itself into the ground.

  7. Let’s see what they do with the land, that will be the proof of the success or failure. BG should put a tickler on their calendar to check back with the county in a year and see what kind of return they have gotten on their investment.

  8. Now with Ullman as temporary board administrator, it’s a wonder worse hasn’t happened. Stay tuned for what the next couple days will bring.

    http://www.adaweb.net/Home/tabid/36/ctl/Detail/mid/2832/itemid/227/Default.aspx

  9. IdahoCrystal
    May 11, 2012, 9:25 am

    Don’t they have a budget? Is there so much of a surplus that they have nearly a quarter mil just lying around waiting for auctions? If not, what got shorted to pay for this?

  10. Clippityclop
    May 11, 2012, 12:54 pm

    If this property is reverted to preservation status akin to that set aside by the Boise Foothills Levy, all is forgiven. The time is nigh to include the western foothills in a county-wide preservation levy. We need far flung subdivisions and planned communities in the foothills like we need a hole in our heads.

    EDITOR NOTE–As a certified GROWTHOPHOBE I agree. However this looks like an ill advised move to speculate on land. The only way the county can recover anything is to sell it. We cannot find any prior discussion, demand, request, or authorization to purchase land that remained from a failed development.

  11. Clippityclop
    May 11, 2012, 1:44 pm

    Gotcha, Dave. But if preservation for all of Ada County is the goal, and speculation is off the table, I’ll happily pay the back taxes myself.

  12. It would be interesting to find how many acres are set aside as a conservation easement. From Ada County Soil and Water Conservation District:

    “These include riparian easements on portions of Dry Creek and Currant Creek within the Echanove Ranch Estates development and an additional easement on Currant Creek in Red Hawk Estates development. Additionally, Ada County has identified the Ada SWCD as the primary entity for working with Planned Community (PC) Developers to fulfill open space requirements through conservation easements and active management.”
    http://www.adaswcd.org/easements/easements.html

    Did the County work with ASWCD in this acquisition?

    EDITOR NOTE–No consultation or collaboration. We checked with the district and they are a non-profit that manages easements after the fact.

  13. I wonder if Sharon will give as much grief to Rick for missing time off for surgery as she did Vern.

  14. It is becoming quite clear we will never see the taxpayer’s two million dollars. Buying this land is just another example of SHARON ULLMAN telling the taxpayers she is the one in power and control and she could care less what any of us have to say or if she breaks the rules. This is only two of the very reckless decisions she has made in office. If we do not get out there and vote to elect a new commissioner, Ada County will likely be bankrupt one day also. This is our time to be heard. PLEASE VOTE AND BRING YOUR NEIGHBORS, FAMILY AND FRIENDS.

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