GUARDIAN GUEST POST BY:
Dry Creek Rural Neighborhood Association
Twenty-three new planned communities are proposed for Ada County according to the Statesman’s front page article of October 11, 2006.
If approved, these massive “planned communities” will give us sprawl as far as the eye can see.
It’s this kind of mindless development that has made Phoenix, Denver and Las Vegas bloated, environmentally challenged eyesores, and could result in an Ada County with no wildlife, clogged roads and freeways, and collapsed infrastructures. But, gee, there will be a lot of happy developers.
Fully one-third of the planned communities will be placed in the Foothills. Say goodbye to the beautiful natural backdrop to Boise and Eagle, good-bye to wildlife and nearby trails. Hello, Hollywood hills (gridlock, smog, no wildlife, no greenery, no recreation, overcrowded schools, fire hazards, and piped in water from heaven knows where).
Here’s the breakdown of what’s proposed:
– The Cliffs – 1,300 homes (approved by P&Z Board, to County Commissioners next)
– M3 – 12,000 homes
– Dry Creek Ranch – 4,300 homes
– Cartwright Ranch – 700 homes
– Avimor – 8,000 homes (680 homes have been approved as “phase 1”; the number of homes for succeeding phases is “said to be” in the 6000-8000 range)
– Connelly – 4,000 homes (number not settled–still on the “drawing board”)
– Kastera – number unknown (they have acquired enough land for a planned community that encompasses the Shadow Valley Golf Course. They also have two additional large parcels of land, one in the northwest foothills area, and another in the central foothills north of 36th Street.)
The number of homes to be built in the Foothills totals 30,980 without Kastera. Keep in mind that planned communities consist not only of single family residences, but also townhouses, condos, some have apartment buildings, and all have some kind of commercial development. That means traffic, folks. Lots of it.
The Ada County Highway District and developers themselves estimate between 232,350 and 309,800 vehicle trips per day will be generated by those communities. Cars will pour down Highway 55 in numbers greater than the Flying Wye at commute time, and from there onto State Street, Eagle Road, Seaman’s Gulch, Hill Road, and Warm Springs to downtown Boise, Eagle, or I-84. The nightmare intersection of Eagle and Franklin has “only” 54,000 vehicle per day!
COMPASS, ITD and ACHD did not expect high density development in the Foothills and have allocated no money for new or widened roadways there. The public has spoken loud and clear that it does not want the Foothills developed. The recent Ada County Comprehensive Plan update and the Blueprint for Good Growth both go along with the public’s wishes.
Will Ada County’s planning staff, P&Z board, and County Commissioners support the public or act like the Developers’ Cheerleader Squad?
Only time will tell. Enjoy the Treasure Valley while you can. It might not last much longer.
EDITOR NOTE–Developers at Hidden Springs caused the collapse of a county road and that planned community has already been altered into a big subdivision after the “plan” failed to attract buyers. Even so it is touted as a great example of planned growth.
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