Star Mayor on Growthophobia


Star Mayor Nathan Mitchell poured out his guts on the GUARDIAN over the weekend and while he may not be “growthophobe” positive, he certainly has many of the symptoms.

Team Nate and most of the City Councilors are subject of a recall effort that needs only 250 signatures to get on the ballot. New developments are threatening the lifestyle and rural character of the once tiny western Ada County city astraddle Highway 44.

The GUARDIAN posted a short story about the recall, GROWTHOPHOBIA OUTBREAK IN STAR, which prompted readers to comment about the rampant growth and speak out against Team Nathan.

Mitchell responded on the blog and here are some highlights of his discussion:

–SEWER, WATER, PARKS, COPS can handle the onslaught of new houses and residents.

–SCHOOLS are “a mess” over capacity. Meridian District is trying to cope.

–LEGISLATURE needs to approve impact fees, local options, local taxes, for local government. (good luck Nate!)

–ROADS are inadequate and there is simply not enough money collected by current impact fees to fund needed roads.

–DESIGN REVIEW of new construction needs some immediate attention.

Perhaps the best thing we heard from Team Nate leader Mitchell was this gem:

“I do realize all my options add to the cost of new construction. That is where I think we need to make people migrating in make a choice. Either Pay up or don’t move here. Shouldn’t be a problem as the recent home price appreciation indicates, they are willing to pay.”

Wow! If this guy gets recalled, it won’t be for mincing his words.

Finally, the Star mayor explained the city has been approached by a developer to annex part of Canyon County into the city. GUARDIAN readers claim cross county mergers create problems with dual school districts, fire departments, county government, and highway districts.

Team Nate responded saying, “If we get word back from our fellow service providers that this will cause a HUGE mess for them we won’t proceed.”

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. I did a little more research today as time has permitted, between those infernal automated candidate phone calls (I do not vote for candidates who use them). Nate it appears is a Northern California transplant who graduated from U of I. I could rail on and on at this point. I’ll let you all draw your own conclusions. Two of the City Council members in Star are owners of Landscaping/Sprinkler installation businesses. I would think growth is what keeps them in business and close to home means less fuel purchased. Their web site lists “getting ready to move into Canyon County” as on their to do list for economic development.

    Their Parks and Rec “department” consists of one park with no playground, a few picnic tables, and a picture of what appears to be the Boise River with a fisherman. There is no listing of any law enforcement agency. Just thought it was interesting given all Team Nate has to say about how PREPARED they are.

  2. Tam, while you could probably see from my posts on the other Star thread that I believe there are a ton of problems that need to be addressed in Star, I think some of your comments may be a bit overzealous…

    Let’s remember that it was just a bit over 10 years ago I believe (don’t remember the exact dates) that Star was re-incorporated. Since that time Star has doubled in size. The fact that we have one park, with another on the way is not too out of line with what one could expect given this time frame. Regarding law enforcement, I believe that like Eagle and Kuna, Star has contracted with Ada County to provide police services. While they are employees of Ada County, they are full time in Star.

    Regarding your comments on Nate being a Nor Cal transplant, so what. Probably less than 15% of the population of the valley are native. Sorry if you don’t feel the same way, but as far as I’m concerned, once you get those plates changed over and start contributing to the local economy, your an Idahoan. The valley is changing and we had better all get used to it. Where we really prove our worth is how we respond to this growth, how we make sure that it pays for itself, and how we make sure it happens in the right way.

  3. Tam, I did a little research of my own today…I am from Northern California (actually sixth generation damn proud Californian if you want to get specific) and I am a graduate of The University of Idaho (Go VANDALS!!!!)….all of which has nothing to do with whether or not Star is prepared to handle growth.

    The part you left out about myself…evil homebuilder and land developer (probably not growthophobe positive either!!)..My comments were not intended to tell you how prepared Star is to handle the growth…rather how unprepared Idaho is to deal with the “inevitable behemoth” that I see coming. We can spend all day arguing about how unprepared I am to handle what is happening in Star…should get us a long way towards fixing the real problems associated with what all the “growthophobes” dread every day when they wake up.

    If you know of something specific in Star that I or my Council is not doing I would love to learn of it. Jon could not have said it better when he states “where we really prove our worth is how we respond to this growth, how we make sure it pays for istelf, and how we make sure it happens in the right way”. So my question to you is, what are you doing besides criticising my heritage and questioning the college I went to, to help Idaho deal with growth?

    Don’t mean to mince my words, but I am looking for some positive, constructive feedback…not the easy stuff. Don’t mean to turn the conversation quite so aggressive…but lets talk.
    Team Nate

  4. Sharon Ullman
    May 23, 2006, 12:34 am

    Mayor Nate – I am particularly impressed that you were checking out and responding to the GUARDIAN blog “via wireless celllular (sic) access just about to leave a service area” while you were out of town! You did a very credible job of responding to GUARDIAN readers’ questions and concerns, although I am a little concerned about your quest for so many new ways for the government to collect money from the public.

    You also said, “I do love the absolute distrust of anybody elected that you guys get a chance to whack at.” It’s called accountability, Mr. Mayor. But, as you have shown, if elected officials have answers and know what they are talking about, they will appreciate the tough questions. Those who truly know what they are doing are up to the task.

    I also like the fact that you wrote, “Cities and Counties should be able to survive on what we have (Did I just say that?).” That point is so true, in most cases! It is a matter of prioritization, starting with the protection of public health and safety (i.e. emergency services) and other essential services.

    On Tam’s point about people who live here but were not born in Idaho: ILLEGAL immigrants are a real issue and a deeply troubling problem in the United States today. Beyond that, however, this is a free country and U.S. citizens are (still) allowed to come and go from one state to the next pretty much as they please, so long as they are not transporting fruit flies or the like across state borders!

    Perhaps the problem is the role organizations (like the Boise Chamber and its Boise Valley Economic Partnership) and the government (such as the Idaho Department of Commerce and Labor) take in promoting the State so others will relocate to Idaho. That promotion is great for the depressed rural parts of the State, but not such good public policy in the fast-growing urban centers. Perhaps we can work to steer newcomers to the less populous regions?!

    Jon mentioned that the City of Star was “re-incorporated”. If I recall correctly, when Star incorporated on December 10, 1997 it was for the first time. Although at that time it was widely believed that Star had been an incorporated city in the past, I think when the effort to incorporate was being pursued it was discovered that it had not ever been previously incorporated. Someone please correct me if I am wrong.

  5. Jon, I actually drafted another post yesterday, but must’ve failed to submit it. It would have put this post in a little more context. If Star wants development to pay its way, they need to take a couple of steps back and figure out solid methods of achieving the goal. Forging full steam ahead, on a wing and a prayer, won’t make it so. My point is that Nate SAID, his parks department is prepared for the growth.

    I won’t argue that one park is perhaps all you can expect for a town like Star. But, if you approve 3000sq foot houses in an R4-R5 density with 1600sq foot lawns, where are the children going to play? Where are they going to play little league? Soccer? Pocket parks inside subdivisions are NOT an answer. Having some experience in this area, I can tell you that Neighborhood Associations go broke maintaining irrigation pumps/common areas and unless the parks are turned over to a District or City, they die.

    If the City takes it over, that is a whole new set of problems, with unanticipated costs, maintenance, and constant battles with neighbors who don’t want to pay for the park, but also don’t want it to be a public park with all that entails. I have yet to see an agreement between a City and County law enforcement agency for services where someone wasn’t subsidizing someone else. Either the City isn’t paying the full cost of coverage and County residents are offsetting or the other way around. I don’t know that Star could be a sweeter place. I don’t think anyone could expect them after recent incorporation to have any more in place than they do.

    I just think small towns like this should proceed SLOWLY with approving thousands of new homes and businesses so they measure twice and cut once. The mistakes made are SO difficult to undo and sometimes you just don’t get do-overs at all.

    I was through Middleton last week and would encourage anyone who wants to see a prime example of what happens when approvals come too quickly to drive by a development called Middleton Lakes. It’s on Middleton Road next the North Channel of the Boise River. Aside from there being no Lakes, someone should be strung up for the lack of vision.

  6. Tam – try getting up on the other side of the bed.

    Be it Boise or other cities, you seem to have this ability of bypassing the good to express the bad. For the most part, you’ll generally find a list of things needing to be fixed and plenty that is working well in all cities…

    Star Mayor Nathan Mitchell may or may not be running his city correctly, but please don’t overlook the good in order to focus on the bad.

    As a native Idahoan, I agree with Jon regarding your comments on Nate being a Nor Cal transplant, so what. That’s a non-issue here.

  7. Sharon, the City was incorporated previously. I believe it incorporated in the late 1860s and un-incorporated in 1932 when State Highway 44 (then Valley Road) was being paved. Actually, as Tam pointed out with comments about our Police contract, the City unincorporated because they were being asked to pay for the road twice. Once as County residents and once as City residents. I would also say I don’t necessarily have a quest to collect more money from the public, but if we continue to grow (no matter how fast or slow) without collecting the true capital cost of providing infrastructure we will never get healed.

    So, if we have to collect more money I would start with collecting it from the people moving here. If they decide not to move here, then we don’t need the money and we don’t collect it. The only other option I see is to charge the current residents more money to maintain the same or lower levels of service. That doesn’t make sense to me. The only comment I have about the marketing and promotion campaign (many of which we have participated in) is that one positive result could be that we attract the types of people and types of business that we want as opposed to those who might come that we don’t want….by all means I do understand all the arguments against too.

    Tam, your comments/observations about parks are right on. Our current inventory of ground to be developed includes about 78 acres along the river and some adjoining property that when developed will be deeded to the City for use as an athletic complex that ties into the Greenbelt. We recently adopted a Park Impact Fee (one of the two impact fees the State will authorize) of about $2100 per new home. That figure is better than double what any other jurisdiction can charge. The fees have to be calculated based off of your current service level and we chose to charge the maximum we can justify. Our long term goal is to have a good balance of neighborhood pocket parks, large city recreation areas, and contribute to the regional and state park systems. Maybe I should have stated that our Parks are positioned to keep up, instead of prepared for the growth?

    I think our contract with the Ada County for police service fits into the category of the City covering the “full” cost of each deputy, their vehicle, and any prosecution services for cases cited under city code and County residents in our area receive some benefit of a faster response with more frequent patrolling. As far as proceeding SLOWLY. I would love to. I don’t know of a mechanism where a city can impact the demand side of the market. We can increase demand (all the promotions you guys love :-), but trying to decrease it only happens when you create undesirable places to be/live.

    I think the approach of caution is wise, and absolutely think you have to measure twice and cut once….but if you take that approach to writing your development code you should be able to handle the applications as they come. I think that too many people get caught up trying to stop or slow the growth when they should be ensuring that the growth goes above the minimum standards and brings a positive change to the City with it.

    Nate the Vandal!-)

  8. Great post. Tam, you know I’ve railed against the native/non-native distinction as unhelpful. I’m sure Nate has a breadth of experience from California on what not to do. Having said that, don’t stop. Your comments and criticisms further the discussion. I’m very pleased the Mayor has elected to use this forum to discuss the issues but I also know that we’ve only scratched the surface.

    Your research about the city council members having their bread buttered by development certainly discloses a bias drawing their leadership on these issues into question. In addition your comments about Middleton were also appropriate. But without coordination with the County how can the City of Star slow down growth? Won’t “growth” just move beyond Star’s jurisdiction? And in a related question Mayor, how do you respond to the specific allegations from some of your constituents that you are not following Star’s Comprehensive Plan, if I have that name correct?

  9. Sharon Ullman
    May 23, 2006, 11:32 am

    Mayor Nate, thank you for the correction about Star’s previous incorporation. I also like what you have to say about collecting money, fees, etc. It makes much more sense that the money come from people coming in than those who are already here. From an economic perspective, though, one must be cautious about the effect any added fees end up having on everyone, including those who have lived here their entire lives.

    I’m not sure I agree with you about the economic development folks bringing only desirable people and businesses, and that “natural” growth would be more likely to bring undesirable people and businesses. I suppose desirability is somewhat in the eye of the beholder, but it seems a lot of the job creation in this area has been relatively low-paying positions in the service industry, even with all the economic development activities. I also think elected officials in general need to wake up to the fact that the public is getting pretty tired of the rapid growth these days, so artificially stimulating it is questionable, at best.

    To the residents of Star: I’d like to hear more specifics from those of you who are trying to recall your Mayor. From what I can see, he is accessible, he appears to be forthright, and he has a good handle on what he is discussing. It might be questionable to have a developer in the position of Mayor, but that sounds more like an election issue than a recall issue.

  10. Yep, ol’ Mayor Nate has some cojones… declaring (almost proudly) that he’s a multi-generation northern Californian AND a Vandal! (Of course, if his community’s population is up 158% in a short time, perhaps most of his neighbors, and potential recall voters, are also NoCal Vandals.)

    This has been an interesting thread. If quality-of-life were measured by road miles per capita, or classroom seats per capita, or park-square-feet per capita, then perhaps quality of life could be maintained with willpower and the funds.

    BUT… what do you say to the people who have lived in Star for 40 years… since it was a wide spot in the road? Who moved there for the RURAL charm? (I can’t see more roads, schools and parks making the problem better for them.) What do you say to the people who used to commute to their jobs in Boise on a lightly-traveled highway? I don’t have much empathy for the newcomers… they baked their cake, now let ’em eat it. But I DO feel sorry for the long-time residents who are experiencing a total lifestyle upheaval.

    I paraphrase Woody Guthrie’s lyrics:

    Now, the police at the port of entry say,
    “You’re number fourteen thousand for today.” …
    [Ada County] is a garden of Eden, a paradise to live in or see;
    But believe it or not, you won’t find it so hot
    If you ain’t got the do re mi.

    – “Do Re Mi” (written about California, in 1940)

  11. Sis, I take any allegations about the way our City conducts business serious. From what I can tell, the Star Citizens for Smart Growth only approves of development that fits into what our Comprehensive Plan call Rural Transitional land use designations. This would dictate a density of one unit per 2 acres.

    While I do believe there is an appropriate use for these larger lots, and definately a market for them, I don’t think only having one type of development will work. Again, I can’t stress the importance of having a variety of lot sizes/housing types. So essentially, the accusations are that I and the Council are not following a specific category in our Comp Plan.

    What I can tell you is that every decision made by any City, By Idaho Law, must comply with their Comp Plan and development ordinances. We do have one decision being challenged in court right now for Comp Plan compliance. I am confident we are in full compliance on all decisions we make. Anything else would simply be reckless. We would be jeopardizing the City and the developer if we don’t strictly comply.

    Where discussions like this get frustrating is that Comp Plans (or as many other states call them “General Plan”) are vague by nature. They depend on interpretation, and lack many speccifics that you will find in the ordinaces that dictate how development occurs. Essentially the Comp Plan is used to generally guide growth, and the Zoning/Subdivision/Flood/Design Review and other ordinances are the laws used in reviewing developments. The Cities job is to interpret the Comp Plan and write ordinances that produce the vision of the plan.

    One of the accusations made against the City Council and myself is that we are failing to protect the rural atmosphere in Star.

    This is going to be the best question I can ask…What is rural atmosphere? I would like anybody reading this to give their definition of Rural. Is it 2 acre lots, 5 acre lots, mobile home parks, 160 acre pig farms, 5000 acre cattle ranches…….My point being that with each new house and each new family that moves to Star, the meaning will change just a bit. The farmers who resided in Star 50 years ago don’t think Star is a Rural place anymore. Somebody living on 5 acres there now thinks that it is rural. In fact the farmers feel they lost their lifestyle long ago. When the 5 acre plats started showing up in Ada County in the Star area, the livelihoods of many were changed forever.

    Now when somebody moves into a 1/2 acre lot in the City, the people on 5 acres across the street in the County don’t like the way it changes their life. Can’t blame them one bit. Finding balance between these conflicting desires is as tough a battle you can find. When I approach any land use decision (not that I get to vote on many..only vote in a tie situation) I try to consider all factors in front of me. Maintaing quality of life, infrastructure, design, the environment, the neigbors, the applicants property rights, and the list goes on… I think it would be short sighted to focus on any one issue instead of trying to evaluate all factors.

    The constituents trying to recall me and the council have focused in on one section of the Comp Plan and don’t feel that we are doing enough to enforce that portion of the Plan…. Now I do have to throw a disclaimer in here that all of the above is my assumption as to what they are upset about. I have offered to meet as a group or individually with any of them, yet have been unable to have any dialogue outside of a public hearing where the Council is trying to conduct business. No returned phone calls, no good conversation at all. I offer the same here to any members of the group that might be reading..Let’s sit down and discuss what we can do to help you get what you want before we take the entire community through a lengthy, divisive recall process.

    Sharon, I have to address your last statement about a developer being a mayor. First I will say I do not develop in Star, and have built about 5 houses in Star in the last 4 years. I do understand the perception of a conflict of interest very well. That being said, I don’t think we should get in the practice of eliminating certain sectors of society from running for office. Just because we are in an environment of rapid growth, I don’t think developers should be eliminated from office. Frankly, I think we should be encouraged to use our knowledge of the process to make things better. Nobody typically has a better understanding of issues than those people who depend on them to put food on the table. I don’t ask a realtor to help me with my broken ankle, I ask a doctor. By all means we have to maintain accountability in the system. The same accountability that applies to all elected officials regardless of there occupation.

    I was cautious with the promotion and marketing discussion because it’s value is in the eyes of the beholder. Some people will find good in it and others won’t. I can argue either side of that issue, and lean toward the side of the private industry doing marketing and not the government.

  12. Bikeboy Steve, Give me a little credit. I wasn’t almost proud when I stated my multi-generation California background and my U of I graduation. I was DAMN proud of it:-)

    Let’s talk about the real old timers in the City of Star. I’ll name a few to start, Vi and Dale Blake, Danny Samples, Gary and Kathy Olson, Herb Quenzer, Warren Hadley, Margaret Hadley, their dad Harold (who opened his first Hardware Store in Star in 1905), William Kirtley (opened the Star Merc in 1906), Frank and Charlene Phillips (their family homesteaded their place in 1863..5th oldest water right in the state), Andrew and Lura Knudsen, Elsie Fuller, Hazel Dixon, the entire Wolfkiel family, the Moyle family, and the Kuenzli family. Those families make up a majority of the 300-400 people who resided in Star when it was just a wide-spot in the road, and they are all multi-generation residents that date back to Star’s beginning. I don’t have to say much to these families because they understand what is going on, accept growth as a reality, continue to go about business, and support their City wether asked to or not. They are the most community oriented, positive people you will ever find yourself around.

    I don’t say much to them because they gladly let me know their opinions about change. They think it changed a long, long, long time before Star re-incorporated. They seem to be happy to have a local level of gov. to deal with now instead of Ada County. I don’t think many of them will ever tell you they like the change (hello dr. obvious there), but most understand what can and can’t be done about it. Most of them welcomed their new neighbors as things started to grow. Now their new neighbors want to tell the new newcomers what they can and can’t live in.

    There is a little newspaper circulated out here that comes out this week. Sam Rosti (mentioned above) tells me that he has a guest opinion in this issue that speaks directly to this issue. I suggest you get a copy of the Star Independent. Should be fun. Oh, and while they are gratefull for your sympathy, they aren’t out looking for it. They do however, invite you to coffee any morning at the Star Merc. 7-8 in the hardware section. They will be happy to explain their feelings in a much more passionate and colorfull way than I can ever hope to.

  13. Who’s kidding who in this whole mess?
    Those of us that have enjoyed the beauty of this valley for so many years have absolutely no reason to start calling anyone names.

    I, for one, am getting quite tired of all this ” California transplant, newcomer, out of stater ” name calling. If we want to get mad at someone, why don’t we start with the “old-timers” that have SOLD the land to these new-comers and developers for four, five, six, ten times what they paid for it?

    I recently had a conversation with a “newbie” who said, ” you people hate us until we pay you ten times what you have invested in your property. Then we become your best friend”. He was so right.

    The mayor is right on in his position. Growth is going to happen whether we like it or not! We had better get a handle on MANAGING that growth because that is the ONLY option we have.

    The sooner we all get together and start pulling together on this issue, the better off we will ALL be.

  14. I think I got up on a better side of the bed. A 10 hour pre-election prep day on Monday and a 14 plus hour day yesterday as a Chief Judge and the anticipation of both may have clouded my judgement.

    Here’s what I think. Those who have the most to lose in rapid growth areas are folks like me, who chose a rural lifestyle A LONG TIME AGO, when it was really rural. Those who have the most to gain from rapid growth are developers, home-builders (Nate), Landscapers (City Council member), Sprinker installation contractors (City Council member), farmers with desirable land to sell for inflated prices (includes a good number of those Nate mentions in his piece if my recollection serves me correctly).

    For me, the pheasants no longer call in the twilight because of “Pheasant Run” subdivision; the baler no longer runs at night across the road because the neighboring development homeowners complained, now the land is in weeds and for sale; Hay derricks and Harvestore silos that once dotted the horizon are now replaced by cell towers and 3000 square foot boxes with no trees. If we live in rural communities we should have the privilege of maintaining as much rural about that as we can.

    I understand private property rights. I also understand being responsible neighbors, community members and legacy leavers. As for what I do to effect change. I would think one would go a ways to find anyone as involved in their community as I. There is rarely a cause, blue ribbon committee, fund raiser, City Council meeting, Parks Board meeting, School Bond, that I am not on some committee or in attendance to testify respectfully. Maybe it’s time to buy an old house in Genessee and call it good. I will apologize for my insinuation about UI grads and Northern Cal tranplants. I do know plenty of transplants who merely want to recreate here, what they left there.

    I personally wish they would not. I suppose that Star, Melba, Notus, Parma, Middleton, Emmett and the like will forge full speed ahead with developments and there is naught I can do about it. That doesn’t mean I have to like it or acquiesce to it without letting my 2 cents worth be known.

  15. Great responses all. You renew my faith.

  16. Tam, you are correct about those with the most to gain and the most to lose. If we plan properly you won’t find anybody in the valley with more to gain than myself. The stability of the market is what maintains my livelihood.

    The congestion, schools, infrastructure problems will lead to a premature end to my livelihood…The uncrontrolled approach to much of this is what causes me the most concern. I din’t mean to infer that you weren’t involved either. I obviously don’t know you, and try not to speak about things I know nothing of. My challenge/question about fixing the problems was more of a general challenge to all. I really don’t have a lot of patience for people who bitch about things and don’t want to help solve that which bothers them.

    I do want to make it very clear that I did not move to Idaho to recreate what I ran like hell from. Being a sixth generation logger, things got a little tough trying to maintain our “rural” lives. I’d be the first Nor Cal transplant to adopt a land use moratorium if I could make it retroactive about 30 years and make us all go home. Don’t ever start liking it and keep putting your 2 cents worth in every time. That is the beautiful thing about America and the freedoms we all enjoy.

  17. Right on Tam! I feel for the people of Star whom elected/allowed to be elected such a bunch of self-serving opportunists.

    If any of Star’s elected carpetbaggers ever need their parachutes packed, ejection seats adjusted, small arms ammunition “reloaded,” trap door levers pulled, horses’ heinies slapped (ala the old grade B westerns when the ne’er do wells were finally strung up), or buckets kicked out from under them, I’ll help you out and volunteer to do the deeds.

    No Cal–So Cal? Same Same G.I. Remember Nate’s current path to infamy is how California’s gift to us, and now the Nation, Hollywood Dirk started out- – – Cali, UofI, house building industry and then it was His “Honor” the Mayor, ad nauseum. . . Interesting history here and it can repeat itself. At least Bog wan Nate (or should that be Attila the Mitchell) is honest about his goals. He is right about building houses too, none of them will stop as long as there is another bcuk to be made filling this nest with excrement just like his pride and joy is.

    This “Smart Growth” “they” keep chirping about really doesn’t exist- – -Never has, never will. “They” will do whatever, whenever, and to who ever they can to make as much money as possible. Caring about “quality of life,” “improving the community and environment,” are all platitudes and euphimisms they spew while raping and pillaging our home state.

    (Hey Tam, it has been another bad year for ground squirrels. The omnivorous little cannibals are thick as newbies. They still look and act a lot like developers and “some” lawyers. Even though on our end of the county the “wonderful” growth has limited us to shotguns and rimfires, teaching them to fly is therapeutic and very gratifying. You should take it up again.)

  18. I am a Star homeowner and members of the SMART committee came to my door this morning asking me to sign the recall petition. I asked them outright if indeed the Mayor and council were not following the comp plan and was not convinced even after a five minute summary. I’m sad to hear that the Mayor has not had a direct dialogue with this committee. If it is indeed a misnomer than it needs to be shouted from the rooftops! They are pretty convincing! I didn’t sign the recall as I don’t feel I am well versed enough on all of the issues (hence, I found my way here).

    I am distressed by the Mayors comments, “While I do believe there is an appropriate use for these larger lots, and definately a market for them, I don’t think only having one type of development will work. Again, I can’t stress the importance of having a variety of lot sizes/housing types.”

    Star cannot become the next Meridian – Eagle maybe, but not Meridian! Convince me that Star is not going to become that and you have my support.

  19. After reading this thread, I found it interesting that so few people have expressed their views, but those who have, feel very strongly in their convictions. My family moved to the valley when I was a young boy (40-yrs ago), my wife is a native, and we have both witnessed the rapid growth. First starting in Boise, then Meridian and now Star. I’ll admit that we have only lived in Star for the past year, but have found it to be everything we wished for.

    Some people wish things could go back to the good-ol’-days (20-30 years ago) but when we think about it, were they really that good? Think about the services and conveniences we now have and tell me things were that much better back then.

    Some posts have criticized the long time landowners for selling their acreage for inflated costs. Get real… It’s called “Supply and Demand”? Don’t try to tell me that if you sold your house tomorrow that you wouldn’t try to get top dollar.

    Growth is inevitable and there is nothing we can do to stop it. All we can do is plan responsibly and look towards the future.

    Mr. Mayor, although we haven’t met, I’ll admit I’ve have some reservations concerning your background as a developer. I am however impressed with your willingness to answer your critics. Please keep in mind that the decisions you and the counsel make today, affect the residents of Star forever !!! Rebecca’s post hit it on the head for me. Please don’t turn Star into the next Meridian!

  20. DH,
    The only difference, I hear, is the squirrels whistle when you hit them.

  21. Rebecca, I would love to have a direct dialogue with you and any other citizen’s concerned about the current dialogue in town. You said that you are sad to hear I have not had any direct dialogue with this group…I have attempted and will continue to try. They are unwilling to meet. And to respond to both Rebecca and Scott, we are not headed down a path of the next Meridian, or the next Eagle, we will become something a little better than either..If you are interested in meeting please call.

  22. Married With Horses
    Jun 14, 2006, 9:27 am

    Nate –

    Earlier in this discussion (scroll up) you said, “Now, when somebody moves into a 1/2 acre lot in the City, the people on 5 acres across the street in the County don’t like the way it changes their life.”

    My dear Mr. Mayor, if you were only allowing HALF-ACRE lots, and if they were ACROSS THE STREET from me, instead of ON MY PROPERTY LINE, I would not be ON this crusade to remove you and your numbskull associates from public office.

    WHEN are you guys going to GET IT??? Putting high-density subdivisions IMMEDIATELY adjacent to acreages with livestock invites disaster at worst and confrontation at best.

    This is just another example of the inability of Star’s elected officials – you in particular – to understand or manage complex issues. You have insulted and/or attempted to marginalize anyone with whom you disagree.

    Your dismissal of the leaders of Star Citizens for Smart Growth recently as “middle-aged women” – as if that was a BAD thing – reveals a whole new set of prejudices of which we must now be wary.

    I must caution you that the most EFFECTIVE bigots are smart enough to keep their biases under wraps.

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