(A GUARDIAN correspondent report)
Downtown residents have appealed the Design Review approval for the proposed 81 unit apartment complex slated for 100 N. 8th St in the heart of downtown.
Residents and business owners fear the project, with little additional parking will cripple the vital Capitol Terrance garage, which is already heavily used by visitors to downtown. Another concern is the aqua-blue stucco construction which is not in keeping with the elegant new structures or the historic buildings in the surroundings.
“We were hoping for a structure that would endure like so many other buildings in the area, not a box structure likely to deteriorate in five or ten years,” stated Joshua Rundus the lead appellant of the Design Review decision.
Rundus claimed Downtown residents were caught off guard by the project which moved ahead rapidly in a City anxious to draw new residents to its tax base.
The Downtown Boise Association (DBA), the neighborhood association of record, did not even show for the hearing. Rundus expressed concerns about the business links between Howell and the DBA.
The appeal filed with the City on December 27th highlights concerns from parking to public safety.
The CCDC, (Capitol City Development Corporation), owns the garage in question and stands to gain significant parking revenue from the 81 additional residences. The CCDC and developer Ken Howell have worked together on other downtown projects.
The CCDC is obligated to submit a letter to Design Review on all downtown projects. CCDC in its Nov. 14th meeting raised objections regarding easement rights to the
site but dropped those objections in its public comment to the City.
“How do you find a project in violation of an easement one week and two weeks later fail to mention an issue exists at all?” asked Mr. Rundus.
Moving van issues also are cited in the appeal, as the project does not provide tenants any loading or unloading space. With potentially a couple hundred tenants, Idaho or Main St. could see lanes blocked (Like Capitol Blvd. at the Grove)on a regular basis with trucks unable to enter the garage.
The appeal asks the City why residents and businesses are being left out of the debate. If downtown is
to grow to fill the vision of Boise’s growth plans it desperately needs additional affordable housing. Residents want to make sure affordable doesn’t come at the expense of the safety, usability and attractiveness of downtown.
Ed Note: contact Rundus at; firstname.lastname@example.org OR email@example.com
This correspondent posting previously identified Ken Howell as a board member of the Downtown Business Association. THAT DBA board member is not the Ken Howell who is subject of the story.
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