Yellow streets are public, red are private, green is parking.
Boise’s Planning and Development Services has opened an investigation of the College of Western Idaho after it was brought to their attention the community college has potentially violated a conditional use permit at its “Ada County Campus” on the corner of Maple Grove and Overland.
At issue is the number of students enrolled at the leased facility in Black Eagle Business Park apparently exceeds the permit limits by nearly six times, creating traffic and parking issues.
The GUARDIAN has confirmed the conditional use permit (CUP) approved by Boise City Councilors allows approximately 420 students in a single leased building at the business park. Faced with rapid enrollment increases, CWI has registered nearly 2,400 students with others auditing courses at the permitted facility and four other buildings. It is unclear if the other four buildings had any use restrictions or if the number of students is somehow dispersed in a manner that will not violate the CUP.
Obviously the requirement for five bicycle parking spots didn’t contemplate 2,400 students.
CUP09-00014 was issued in 2009 and one of the conditions clearly states, “The proposed use shall be conducted entirely within the existing structure and the interior courtyard.”
Currently CWI leases FIVE buildings, but we were unable to find any other permits or amendments approved by Boise officials which would allow for the additional demands on traffic, parking, and other infrastructure.
Boise officials aren’t prone to patrolling the city looking for code violations. The enforcement policy is “complaint driven.” Land lords certainly don’t want to lose tenants, tenants don’t want to move out, so the process of obtaining permission and permits is sometimes meaningless.
When the GUARDIAN inquired of both Boise City and CWI, staffers at each government agency said they were unaware of any problems and had not received any formal complaints. Based on the data we offered, the city officials decided to launch their investigation to determine if there were violations, how they might be addressed, and what future action may be needed.
CWI logically would need to seek permission of voters to build facilities and go into debt–just like the West Ada School District is doing to seek approval to sell bonds for new schools. Instead, they are leasing many facilities from private owners without regard to use, occupancy numbers, or parking issues.
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