Create A Problem, Pay For A solution

At the risk of yet another “negative GUARDIAN rant,” we feel compelled to comment on two developments which crossed our desk today.

The DAILY PAPER posted a story informing us the City Council approved a proposed 173-home development IN THE FOOT HILLS adjacent to the Harris Ranch subdivision east of downtown.

The current zoning is either “open space” or agricultural (grazing). Team Dave just announced a proposal to seek $10,000,000 through a serial levy to preserve open space and conservation areas.

Wouldn’t it be a lot cheaper to simply deny the development and need for more schools, roads, sewers etc.? The deer and antelope could play without a discouraging word–as they do now in that area…no need to buy foot hills land to keep developers out.

The Vista Neighborhood is subject of a “do good rescue” project on the part of our City fathers (and mothers). Seems the area has a disproportionate number of poor folks, free lunches in the schools, (“title one”) and other problems which a Federal grant will supposedly help upgrade or cure.

At the same time, a new 300-resident development with “affordable housing” (which means subsidized for low income) is about to be approved for the big vacant lot along Federal Way by the Overland Trail Post Office. If they offer housing for low income residents, it would seem logical that more low income people will move into the neighborhood, causing more free lunches at Hawthorn School, increased traffic, etc. No telling if they will include 23 sex offenders like those at Canal and Vista in the City-owned motel.

Wouldn’t it be better to put a low-income project in Harris Ranch or on the ridges off Bogus Basin Road in an effort to disperse various economic classes? Just curious.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Wow, Dave! Working on your social engineering degree, I see.

    If memory serves, that foothills phase was part of the overall concept plan approved for Harris Ranch development.

    I recall a certain highway commissioner got kicked off the Harris property while investigating the area on his bike where the road was planned to serve those homes.

    EDITOR NOTE–Seriously, does it make sense to use Foot Hill Levy funds to finance the “protection” of Hammer Flat on one hand and then turn around and approve a subdivision within a mile of the wildlife preserve?

  2. Bieter Begone
    Jun 3, 2015, 6:52 pm

    You want the boise city council to put low income housing in Harris Ranch? Are you nuts? That would take the courage of their convictions, if they had any of the latter and we know they have none of the former.

  3. Grumpy ole Guy
    Jun 3, 2015, 10:42 pm

    Your entry made me nostalgic. I grew up (and fled) one of the most severely racially segregated cities in the US. After Brown vs. Topeka School Board of Education,my home town began school bus transportation to achieve “racial balance”. In a telephone conversation with my racially color blind mother she commented that she did not think that using buses was the answer. When I asked her what she thought the answer was; she replied, neighborhood schools with enforced racial housing.
    So, YES, lets put affordable housing throughout the City, keep property values more uniform, keeps schools in better balance, and, let’s face, it, it could just be fun. And, it would make my mother’s spirit happy.

  4. I’ve always suggested the Crane Creek Bomb Shelter and the old National Guard Armory for low income dormitory style housing. You know, spread the wealth, er, the poor around a little.

    And exactly what is with the old armory?

    In reality, west downtown will continue to be where all the homeless are herded. Why? Because the tiny West Downtown Neighborhood Association is too tiny to have a voice. And the sprawling Veteran’s Park Neighborhood Association is too spread out and too diverse to be a neighborhood.

    NENA has enough money and lawyers on staff to keep the poors out. I presume the East End NA is the same.

  5. According the article 2 people showed up to testify. Both were not against the project.

    The Mayor and some (?) city council members come up for election this year. Want to guess what % of Boise citizens will vote this year?

    And The Guardian has a negative rant?

    Not to have a negative rant myself but quoting from 1 Samuel 8:18…..
    When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”

  6. Bomb shelter and Armory for housing? That sounds like my suggestion that rather then fund pre-school for four year olds, have them work in the taconite mines in northern Minnesota. Or what?

  7. And so why would anyone expect different results from the proposed conservation serial levy? ????

    Seems to me, Guardian this post is the perfect follow up to your post about cute cuddly animals.

    Government is inherently a clusterbomb- so let’s not add fuel to it by encouraging more taxes.

    At some point, the people will storm the bastille.

  8. Rod in SE Boise
    Jun 4, 2015, 9:46 am

    We should be happy we live in Boise. I’m visiting Las Vegas and have never seen so many beggers in the streets, boarded up houses and businesses, bad roads, and traffic.

  9. Rod in SE Boise
    Jun 4, 2015, 9:56 am

    I don’t have a problem with Boise approving subdivisions of single-family homes. I do have a problem with Boise approving 300-unit apartment buildings. High population density causes most of the problems in the world.

  10. It’s more like three miles, the way the crow flies, from Hammer Flat to the foothills phase of Harris Ranch. The 90-or-so acres is privately owned and worth $50-million to $90 million—probably not an ideal purchase for low-income housing or open space. But it’ll yield well over a million dollars a year in property taxes once it’s developed.

    EDITOR NOTE–Surely you can offer some alternative sites, perhaps in the North End, for low-income housing. Concentrating the poor in one area does little for “diversity” and only serves to exacerbate the problem of low rated schools, etc. Then there are all the deer and antelope which will be homeless.

  11. I too would like to see subsidized housing in Riverside Village, River Run, and interspersed with all the new McMansions in the foothills. Unfortunately, our state likes putting poor people in prisons for choosing marijuana over alcohol, and draconian sentences for minor crimes while the bankers and politicians steal millions daily and none go to prison. With over 7600 prisoners in Idaho, our incarceration rate dwarfs evil countries like Russia and China, and is actually the highest of any country in the world. We’re number one!

  12. Hawthorne Elementary- Free and reduced lunch(FRL) is 68.9% for 2013-14. There are 53 sex offenders in 13 locations within .5 mile radius.

    Boisecynic’s local school, Whitter (Westend) is 88% FRL (highest in Boise). There are 37 sex offenders in 10 locations with in .5 mile radius.

    Taft on the edge of Northend/Gardencity is 82.20% FRL. There are 17 sex offenders in 9 locatins within .5mile radius.

    The above are facts to further the conversation. Other schools on the bench have similar numbers…Jefferson, Whitney etc… The only thing the government can do is offer incentives for development of “affordable” housing in areas deemed better off. Property taxes often also force people out of certain neighborhoods.

    The Harris Ranch area is becoming the perfect example of build it and they will come. Besides the Harris Ranch development, there are many others packing in the houses tight from Parkcenter Bridge to Ben’s Crow Inn with none taking into account the wildlife.

    EDITOR NOTE–As usual, a shout out to Clancy for research assistance. Our concern/intent with this issue is to illustrate how poverty is self perpetuating when government, be it Federal, State, or Local “helps” people by attracting more poor people and filling the schools with disadvantaged kids (whether economic, emotional, or intellectually). The result is affluent home buyers and builders head for Harris Ranch, the Foot Hills, or far west suburbs which makes room for more refugees or domestic low income. Net effect is a continuum of “disadvantaged” folks and a great repository for sex offenders and transient renters. We offer it sarcastically, but things really would change if there were more sex offenders and poor within .5 mile of Adams or Highland Schools.

  13. Rod, please tell me more how high density population causes most of the world’s problems.

  14. I agree Dave, we keep moving people in and building more subdivisions, using more of everything and raising the price of living in the valley.
    Why? The problem I believe is the number of people that profit from growth. Look at the people in local and state government, most are somehow connected to that growth,
    Many years ago I realized what is going on but they continue to be in charge because we don’t get involved and stop it!

  15. John Smith- if you do a little research about the studies regarding the number of rats in a cage, you will find that the number of rats in a cage directly correlates with the amount of violence. At a certain density, the rats turn to cannibalism. For most of human history we humans lived in small tribes of 20 to 50 people.
    Living in massive cities, crammed in with strangers is a rather new thing, and actually doesn’t seem to work very well.
    Growth is not good, it is a cancer we cultivate to satiate our greed.

  16. All new development should be in the foothills so that we can continue to eat from that which our irrigated cropland produces.

    Welfare leads to more welfare… And to that point, I’m very concerned that the low IQ folks seem to be doing most of the breeding… so they are here to stay.

    Low income developments ensure the police department of increased business… and the city increased grants for everything else “poor-folk” related. No you can’t move the poor folk into the rich neighborhoods… the rich will move away to Meridian and beyond. Also the bright random-color exterior paint jobs and sheets on the windows drops the property values very rapidly.

  17. Rod in SE Boise
    Jun 5, 2015, 1:20 am

    Seems like J Smith answered the question John Smith asked of me. Let me just add China, India, Baltimore, and LA to the argument against high density dystopian societies.

    EDITOR NOTE–Rod, we have some non-library types here. Dystopian is the opposite of utopian. MEans everything is perceived as all bad rather than all good.

  18. Given all the social engineering already being done by Team Dave we can expect complete socialization of many parts of Boise.

    Downtown has already been socialized by the CCDC. We now pay for food at a mobile food truck. It seems every month the Council decides to spend more of our money on their social agenda.

    It seems Mayor Dave must have “drank the Kool-Aid” while on Air Force One. He now loves to spend other peoples money (our taxes) on making it look like he is Obama Jr.

  19. J Smith and Rod… I don’t need to do any research on the idea that there is more violence in large cities. But let’s not compare places that have billions and millions of people to our small city, come on now. Fact – Sprawl is not sustainable. It leads to the necessity of a motor vehicle (you know those things that produce tons of CO2, maybe you’ve heard of it), incohesive communities, and solitary human beings. Density not only promotes sustainability, but fosters creativity and innovation. When you guys leave your antiquated beliefs back on your farms, I’d be happy to have a conversation about smart growth… Because, guess what? You two surely aren’t going to stop it.

    As an aside. I don’t agree with the 300 unit apartments they are building on federal way either. Old style apartment complexes like those are possibly the worst kind of development. They look trashy, are not welcoming, and provide no street vibe. Any and all apartments should look like the few being constructed downtown… at least 5 stories.

  20. Yeah Right! Build low-income housing in Riverside Village, Quail Ridge, and Harris Ranch. Hey, I know let’s put them in the downtown condos!
    Let’s be sure to give them all a new Prius too.
    What will you all say then, when you are paying for their fancy digs?

  21. Placing those on housing assistance in wealthy neighborhoods may not be all that smart if the housing(land) cost are more. Increasing cost for these programs will just reduce the number of people that they can serve. Chicago tried it. http://www.illinoisherald.com/articles/2014/q3/chicago-stop-housing-poor-rich-neighborhoods/

    EDITOR NOTE–We fully understand the upscale neighborhoods won’t stand for poor folks, trailer parks, and sex offenders. Our intent is to “call out” those who make a living off “those people.” Any programs to provide low cost housing, subsidized food, free lunches, etc. serve only to dissuade the vast middle class from living in those geographical areas. Vista is a poster child for decline fostered by government. Perhaps subsidized upscale housing for middle-upper class RESIDENTS in declining areas would stem the “white flight” and related exodus.

  22. The term “smart growth” is about equivalent to “peacekeeper missiles”, or the “war on terrorism”. It is a nonsense phrase. Once the world passed a billion people, it became unsustainable; temporarily enabled by abundant, cheap fossil fuels.. The only path from here is degrowth, or contraction, which is going to happen whether we want to keep growing or not. The resources are running low, and either high prices, or a crashing economy will regulate the humans virus like growth, smart or otherwise. The inevitability of growth has just hit the wall of resource depletion.

    EDITOR NOTE–What ever happened to the ZPG (zero population growth) movement? In this area we have preached that an economy based on “growth” is not “sustainable,” but people ignore our GROWTHOPHOBE warnings. We know they read it as shown here 8 years ago…http://apps.itd.idaho.gov/Apps/MediaManagerMVC/NewsClipping.aspx/Preview/28158

    After reading the nearly decade-old post, we realized the GUARDIAN was way ahead of the curve when it comes to UBER CARS! 🙂

  23. Ah, a smart growther has chimed in, with the 2 most abused words in the English language– sprawl and sustainable. Please explain what those 2 words mean instead of simply parroting them.

    I live downtown because I detest the suburbs but in no way do I begrudge people who choose to live in them.

    What choice do they have?

    There are few homes for sale at any price in the greater downtown area. Certainly not enough to meet the demand. Forget the bad old Californians moving here. About 5000 high schoolers and about 2000 college kids graduate every year in this valley. They ARE NOT all going to find places to live near downtown. Period.

    Do smart growthers, whose most sustainable notion is idealism, think we can cram all people into one giant high-rise? It’s not physically possible for starters. And you’d have better luck herding cats.

    Again and again I try to explain that there’s zoning regulations and you simply cannot build high density wherever you want. So that implies upzoning. But that will not happen in the north end (nor many other areas) any time soon. Not as long as people can still vote.

    Apparently you missed my links to Robert Bruegmann’s essays on smart growth:


    And there’s this one on the unintended consequences of London’s social engineering experiment. Insanely high housing prices and even more sprawl beyond London’s green belt.


    Still no word on city leaders bringing Bruegmann to speak in Boise.

  24. Eagle Writer
    Jun 5, 2015, 4:39 pm

    In a nation of individual liberty and personal responsibility, the key is to not put anyone anywhere. We should live where we aspire to live and can live based upon our accomplishments.

  25. Vaccines, anti-biotics, sanitary sewers, pressurized drinking water, mass-produced food, advanced transportation / distribution networks and several other technologies make tightly packed living safe. 120 years ago… 50% of the population was considered ‘rural’… today it’s less than 2%. I’m hopping for less than 1% rural so as to have even fewer neighbors!

  26. Us folks up in Idaho city would welcome new folks coming up. The fire wiped out 1/3 of main street last night.

    Mr Guardian could you move up here and help us restart Idaho City? You have a bunch great ideas. Now is the time to put them to practice .

    Forget Boise. We are less than an hour from the city limits. We want growth

    Sell your house or (give it… ya right) to the poor folks you talk about.

    We need you!

    EDITOR NOTE–You make a tempting offer, Porc. However, I have confidence you hardy mountain folks will be able to do your usual “Phoenix Act” and rise from the ashes. Glad no one was injured. I will bet there is a Federal program that will help local fire departments with used fire trucks–just like the MRAP for coppers. Keep bugging me and perhaps I can offer some ideas.

  27. Bieter will run for Governor.

  28. Us “hardy mountain folks” are dying off and our kids are leaving the area for jobs that don’t exist in our town. Now with the fire one of the main summer employers of young folks has gone up in smoke. A few get jobs at The Springs but have to be old enough to serve booze.

    Folks that live in the Idaho City area work in Boise. When you think about it is a 40 minute drive to Micron and you don’t have to fight the freeway.

    Sad thing is when you work in Boise you stop at the store, fill up with gas, get your meds, and maybe stop for dinner all in Boise. Our stores and gas station can’t compete with the prices at Fred Meyers or Albertsons. Let’s not even talk about getting to Doctor. The health center shut down. Our only bank is a ATM at the gas station or at the store. We have no cell phone service (unless you park in front of the visitor center).

    I have to laugh when I read some folks not wanting growth… Idaho City is a example of what happens when you don’t have growth. You die.

    EDITOR NOTE–Porc, you just listed a bunch of reasons for people to populate your little burg…no CCDC, no ACHD, no Team Dave, low taxes. If there place keeps growing it will no longer be a quaint historic ghost town. Do you really want a steady stream of traffic morning and evening? I remember when the place was pop. 108. Just checked WIKIPEDIA and they already have updated to include yesterday’s fire in the history!

  29. Dave
    we have a steady stream of traffic in the morning and evening. People leaving in the morning to drive to Boise and people driving back after work.

    I have lived in Idaho City for 65 years now. Went to school here… Well it was back in the day that they bused us to Boise…and trust me it not a quaint little ghost town any more. It’s a town that is dying.

    Come up one day and talk to the quaint folks up here. You will find out why folks are moving out of our little berg.

  30. Porcupine makes some good points. I too grew up in a dying town. Those of you who didn’t probably have no idea what it’s like to be 17, 18 years old with virtually no prospect of a job and no college to better yourself within an hour’s drive. And so what if you want to go to college? No job means no money to pay for a car, insurance, registration and gasoline to get you there. You’re stuck.

    This is part of a trend that’s been going on for a long time. I don’t pretend to have the all the answers. But it’s clear, the old small town ways of farming, logging, mining and even ranching hold very little opportunity for the young.

    That’s why they move to the cities. But then you have cities planning and zoning the door shut behind those who’ve already made it here. Very little upzoning is happening except at the suburban fringe subsidized by taxpayer built roads.

    Lusk St represents an upzone but CWI coming to west downtown represents a downzone in terms of residential use. You know, the kind of walkability and sustainability that so many are lip servicing.

    I’m starting to ramble, but I rode my bike around the proposed CWI lot yesterday and tried to imagine: A) a college campus that becomes deserted at night, weekends, holidays and most of the summer, versus B) a vibrant mixed use development with apartments or condos, hotel rooms and restaurants open 360+ days a year.

  31. Growing up in Idaho City our main industry was logging and some mining. Heck the only time people from Boise came up here was for Gold Rush Days ( the old one).

    Way back in the day the Feds gave counties a portion of the logging receipts from Federal land. That money was a huge amount of $ for Idaho City and Horse Bend. It made up a significant portion of our school budget.

    Back in 1976 PILT was about $2.58 per acre. Also took into account timber harvest and grazing.

    Well guess what? No more logging… no more grazing.. and no more jobs.

    Congress is trying to do away with PILT and it will happen soon. Last year it was $782 million to be split up between between the states. This year it fell to $505 million.
    Boise County got $884,000 in 2000 and it got $391,000 this year. That is for Horse bend and Idaho City…. (well Boise county)

    Now put that on top of the loss of the stupid law suit Boise County had for $2,000,000. plus and the loss of Arrow Rock Dam as part of our tax basis…. It went to Emore county Our taxes have skyrocketed… ( at least for me.)

    I still would rather live in Idaho City than to live in Nampa or Caldwell. It not a bad drive if you work on the east end of town. But it is a dying town. Why fill up with gas in Idaho City when you work in Boise and can get it cheaper? Why would any kid go to college at Boise State and make the drive every day?

    I had to make a 2 hour drive to Fred Meyer today for meds for my wife. Filled up with gas at Freddies and used my rewards card. Trust me growth is not all bad.

    Guess I’m part of the problem.

  32. Part of the problem?

    Thinking about Idaho’s rich heritage of resource exploitation:

    Lot’s of libtards point to Canada as a more advanced society than the USA. They fail to know there are a total of 30 Million people in all of Canada. Or how Canada has very large and vibrant Gas, Oil, Mining, Timber, Fisheries, Manufacturing, Science/Technology/University, and Transportation industries. Canada also sells Electricity from Coal and Nuclear power plants to the USA.

    We be so stupid… we have tied our own shoelaces together by promoting idiotic and impossible liberal social ideals. Yes, the current crop of Republican RINO leadership is at the core of this libtardedness as well as the obvious O’Bamites.

    Hoping for a soft landing!

  33. Sure am hoping Team Dave will be replaced in the next election cycle. Sick and tired of his regime. Was hoping to escape the CA mentality that they represent when I fled the People’s Republic nearly 27 years ago. And I came here poor escaping the $1,400 a month Orange County apartments (that was just a lower crime one and not fancy one either) so I haven’t added to the sprawl (currently living in a 1968 built house).

    I fear Dave won’t be gone till he runs for Governor (or Congress). I have a suspicion that is his career goal. Probably the same with ol’ TJ.

    Development is a fact of life and I’m not opposed to it, but I am opposed to taxing to stop it–I prefer a non-profit foundation like a Nature Conservancy. The inconsistent growth and suspicious deals is worrisome.

    The Treasure Valley continues to look more like Orange County/So Cal every day…*SOB* I guess the only solution is to buy a property truly in the boonies too far away from civilization.

    Stuck in Ada I guess I can look forward to maybe having a Magic Kingdom soon. That’s all we need to recreate So. Cal in Idaho. E-tickets (yes I’m dating myself there) and fireworks every night during the summer. YAY!

    Go to the Idaho version of Anaheim Stadium and watch a game. That probably comes when we finally get 2-3 million in the Valley! Unless of course Team Dave finds a way to access that from us in taxes first.

  34. So Mad

    Dave has his web site up for another run for mayor.

    Plenty of ground up here in the quaint little town of Idaho City. But my guess is you will miss the shopping and stores.

    Only issues up here are the postmaster got in trouble for stealing gift cards out of the mail and the mail is all messed up….County got sued for millions and lost, 1/3 of the city center burned down, health center shut down.. and the city water system is leaking and they can find where it is leaking at.

    Heck you can probably buy a whole block of the town right now…. and you could start your own Starbucks.

    Trust me we will welcome you with open arms,

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