It looks like the GROWTHOPHOBE movement is gaining some more traction as citizens work to put the brakes on foothills development.
Here is a press release from a group opposed to development in Dry Creek northwest of Boise near Avimor. Interesting to see court rule in favor of citizens.
The Dry Creek Valley Coalition, a community-driven organization working to protect and preserve the Dry Creek Valley and the Boise Foothills, prevailed Wednesday, December 13, 2017 when District Judge Jonathan Medema ordered Ada County Clerk Christopher D. Rich to file the group’s initial petition for referendum.
“I am pleased that the Ada County District Court applied the law and upheld the independence of the Clerk’s office,” said Brian Ertz, attorney for the coalition.
The Dry Creek Valley Coalition submitted their initial petition for referendum to the Ada County Clerk’s office in May 2017. Clerk Rich refused to file the petition. The Dry Creek Valley Coalition was forced to ask the court to compel the clerk to file the petition.
In February 2017, despite opposition from community members, businesses, and organizations, the Board of Ada County Commissioners voted to approve an 1,800 home subdivision proposed by Boise Hunter Homes.
“Boise Hunter Homes has successfully used its economic might and threat of litigation to bully Ada County Development Services and the Ada County Board of County Commissioners to approve an unpopular, god-awful development in Boise’s beloved foothills,” said Ertz.
The Dry Creek Valley Coalition seeks utilize the referendum process to allow registered voters to repeal or accept Ordinance 864, an ordinance governing the development of the proposed subdivision.
“We chose to pursue the referendum because we believe the community was deprived of the opportunity to have their voices heard and valued in any meaningful way throughout this process. No one I’ve spoken with wants more houses in the Foothills. The Dry Creek Valley is an incredible place and this subdivision is the epitome of irresponsible development. It will destroy 1,400 acres of prime farmland, open space, and wildlife habitat. Once this land is gone, it is gone for good,” said Stephanie Rael, a member of the coalition.
The Dry Creek Valley Coalition says Clerk Rich’s failure to perform his ministerial duty is a symptom of a larger, more systemic problem in the way business is conducted in Ada County’s current administration.
“If everything was functioning as it should in Ada County, this lawsuit would never have happened. No court should have to compel a clerk to file paperwork that fulfills all of the technical requirements found in Ada County Code. The clerk should do that on his own. The fact that he did not is very alarming,” said Rael.
The Board of Ada County Commissioners and the developer, Boise Hunter Homes, worked in tandem in the lawsuit, asking the court to prohibit Clerk Rich from filing the petition. Judge Medema denied their request for a writ of prohibition.
“While we have a long way to go, we are relieved and encouraged that in this particular instance, justice prevailed,” said Rael.
Attorney at Law
Dry Creek Valley Coalition
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