Boise Promotes Urban Sprawl Movement

We have been out of town and busy at the day job, so please accept apologies for lack of new posts.

The GUARDIAN has suffered a severe bout of “growthophobia” as the Boise Fire Department has made public its plans for 7 new stations–all aimed at accommodating GROWTH.

They include Gowen Road near the Outlet Mall, Pleasant Valley south of Gowen, Lake Hazel and Five Mile, Cole south of Victory. Chats with fire officials, zoning officials, and others pretty much confirm there is some sort of “plan” at city hall to sprawl the city to the southeast.

There are applications at the county level for more Avimor -style planned communities, but we think Boise officials plan to add to the sprawl by expanding the “area of impact” and eventually annex the rural areas into this already sprawled out city.

The cops are also planning for expansion. They want a building at the western edge of the city near Emerald and Five Mile as a NEW HEADQUARTERS , but refuse to tell citizens of their plans. We hear it is a done deal.

Meanwhile the cops are looking at a substation EAST of Micron. That’s right folks, east of Micron.

Then there is the Ada County Highway District with plans to build new roads south of Gowen Road to include extensions of Lake Hazel and Orchard.

Each of these agencies can claim they are planning for the future. Perhaps so, but we find it merely adds to polluted air, water, and more schools, fire stations and cop shops…while making it easier to approve new developments. If we were Michigan losing manufacturing jobs and population we could understand using public funds to advertise and encourage people to move to our city.

When growth is the number one problem and expense facing us, it is nothing short of absurd to have “economic development” agencies at the city, county, and state levels trying to increase our population. Leave it alone! If people want to move here and pay their way we welcome them, but no need to build them roads, sewers, and schools so they will come.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. I really hate to see all the urban sprawl in this town, however, to look at the positive side of the sprawl and this story, at least they are sprawling in the right direction – east rather than west. Develop and use up all that desert land rather than develop and use up the valuable farmland and precious, unique foothills that can’t be reclaimed. There sure is a lot of useless land between here and Mtn Home.

  2. Here is another situation that proves you will never be happy Dave. You complain that there aren’t enough services because of growth, and then when they decide to plan for growth and get the services in before the growth you again complain.

    Down in Las Vegas and Phoenix they have freeways that lead to nothing. They have beltways that are out in the desert and service no one, yet. They are planning for growth very inexpensively. Do you know how much it would cost to go in now and put a belt from Eagle to Meridian to Boise to Kuna? Just seems like when they do plan for growth you’re up in arms and when they don’t plan for it and we look back and say that it should have been planned better your up in arms again.

    We are going to grow regardless if we advertise for it or not, so why wouldn’t we plan for it? If we are not planning for it now then we are to blame for it later when things are all messed up, like they are now. I think your fairy tale on growth needs to be a little more non fiction.

  3. Rod in SE Boise
    Jun 6, 2007, 12:07 pm

    Suffering a severe bout of growthophobia is like talking about the weather. We all do it but nobody does anything about it. Sounds like the fix is in on growth and we are on the eve of destruction. At least the quality of life we once knew in Idaho is being destroyed, faster than ever.

  4. Snoop I think Dave’s issue here is that taxpayers are subsidizing developers.

    The developers come in bringing plans that made Phoenix what it is today, hopscotch developments and planned communities sprawled over the desert. Then they (i.e. Avimor) try to set up taxing districts and sweeetheart deals with utilities in an effort ameliorate any risk of failure for the project and getting existing homeowners to pay the cost of growth.

    All the while government is in the business of advertising on behalf of the developers for more people to come here to move into these developments that we are helping pay for. Another item developers don’t have to expense. This is not a proper role of government.

    But as the recent exodus from Ada County to Hubble Homes has indicated we have leaders in government that are a little too cozy with the devil. And as we saw from the recent post on the Statesman’s hand in supporting taxpayer money for a magazine spread we can’t rely on our local media to point this out. We are getting fleeced and will continue to do so but for the vigilance of folks like Dave.

    I appreciate the job citizen Dave is doing in contacting the powers that be, going to public meetings, and providng other points of view. Sure he’s a bit of a gadfly and often comes across as consistently negative but we’re much better off with him doing the job we should all be doing as proper citizens.

  5. Dave, thank you for another succinct piece. You’re right on again.

    A main reason that the desert east of Boise hasn’t been exploited earlier is that ground water gets deeper as you go east. It consequently requires deeper, more expensive wells, larger, higher horsepower pumps and a LOT more electricity to run them FOREVER. I’m also curious what sucking a bunch of water from closer to the head of our aquifer will do to the rest of the valley’s ground water.

    Sis, I know this may disturb you but we seem to agree 100% on this aspect of the growth issue. Amazing, “ain’t” it. . .

  6. Y’all see the story in today’s (Wednesday, June 6) Daily Paper about California suing one of its own counties for letting the sprawl continue sprawling without taking into account what that does in terms of pollution?
    What a concept!

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