Survey Shows “Growing Too Fast”

For years the Boise State University Public Policy Institute survey results served as the justification for Boise’s Team Dave to push for public safety, transportation, and parks to accommodate the growth.

The standard response to critics of growth was, “You can’t stop growth. People just want to come here.”

Now, more than 70% of those taking the scientific survey are saying growth is too fast. The majority of respondents were ready to accept slower development even if it meant a slower economic growth. If only our “leaders” would use these latest results as a call to reason.

Our lifestyle, culture, economy, and environment are changing beyond our control and not for the better.

The GUARDIAN has a logical, common sense solution to the accelerated growth rate. The cities and state should honor the will of the citizens and stop advertising. If a merchant has more demand for product than he can supply, it is downright stupid to keep advertising.

We are too full of tax incentives, offers for businesses to relocate in the Treasure Valley, assorted promotions at trade shows, planted feature stories about the joys for living here, and inclusion on “top 10” lists.

If the various mayors used their offices to distribute information about housing being too expensive for many workers, homelessness, winter air pollution, massive traffic issues, and the fact more than 70% of residents surveyed don’t want the rampant growth, perhaps it would discourage some of those new residents. Many days the air in Boise is worse than Los Angeles.

Combine that with some serious impact fees on developers who prey upon Treasure Valley residents who have to come up with schools, roads, and sewers for their profit and growth just might slow down.

We need to collectively take a break. Catch our breath. Stop and think about what we want out of life and what we can afford. New local option taxes and fees are not the solution.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Kristiann Mannion
    Jun 28, 2019, 3:23 pm

    This is the most cogent statement regarding the issue of growth that I have read. Bravo!

  2. Take note of the news accounts of the survey and how the survey takers at BSU bend over backwards to spin the results in a way favorable to more taxes to subsidize buses, other public transit and public-funded “low cost” (i.e. below market value) housing. Even though a plurality was against more taxes for buses, the big government hacks doing the survey wanted everyone to know that the public wasn’t completely foreclosing the idea.

    Typical push polling of the type politicians use, i.e. agenda-driven “data”, i.e. propaganda.

  3. Ponzi-scheme
    Jun 28, 2019, 7:48 pm

    Increasing taxes and fees, creative revenue streams, shuffling the money from one project to another, are all tactics to cover the cost of escalating growth. I question if many cities really can afford all of this when taking the long-view. Thus a vicious cycle is created, similar to a ponzi-scheme, where ever more rooftops are needed to keep up with rising expenses.

    Raising impact fees simply raises the cost of housing as this fee is passed onto the end user in the bill of sale for a property. It is not the developer who realy pays this, it is the person who ends up under the new rooftop.

    In Boise, impact Fees for fire, police, and parks can be waived for affordable housing, but must then be replaced by drawing from the General Fund. Thus the cost of these facilities is shifted to the average taxpayer in order to subsidize low wage jobs, while also using funds that could have been applied to other costs.

  4. Daaaaaaaaaaa!!!!

  5. It is obvious even from this BSU survey that the reason politicians want growth is higher taxes and larger tax base. We the people are a money tree farm for the politicians. They want to solve growth related problems for us by taxing us more! Geniuses. When they tout quality of life here they refer to their own life.

  6. I moved to Boise from the Midwest in 1970 when the population was 79,000.
    My husband at that time had been raised on a farm outside Caldwell and wanted to return to Idaho. We purchased a four bedroom & two bath house on half an acre for $30,000 in a very nice neighborhood off Mountain View Drive.

    Linda Lund Davis was the Ada County Planning Administrator from 1973 to 1976. She then went on to be Chair of the Ada County Board of Commissioners from 1976 to 1978. Under her guidance, it was not possible to build a house west of Five Mile Road on less than five acres and Boise was a wonderful and peaceful place to live.

    It seems that everything started to go wrong in the early 1980’s when building the Mall became a large and ugly debate. The fight went on for years and Downtown Boise began to disintegrate. Stores either went out of business or moved to the Mall once it was built. Walmart also entered Boise and profit-driven developers decided this would be a great place to build multiple subdivisions with homes on small lots.

    Now, we’re in this terrible mess of constant traffic, noise, insufficient fire or police protection, poor air quality, and all pushed on by Mayor Bieter who wants to build monuments to himself. We have to stop this and the only way to do it is to remove Bieter and his cronies in the election. PLEASE DO THE RIGHT THING AND VOTE THE ENTIRE BUNCH OUT !!!

  7. Eamonn Harter
    Jun 29, 2019, 11:45 pm

    Could the Guardian comment on properties in the area owned by out-of-state absentee owners? This seems like it may be the missing link that explains the extreme disconnect between (current) real estate prices and the local economy which simply cannot support them. My understanding is that you can get government-guaranteed mortgage loans for investment properties if they are at least 100 miles from the buyer’s primary residence. Speculative bubbles like this have consequences. Available housing inventory for sale in Boise is up nearly 40% year over year (Meridian @ 50%) which may be a sign investors are looking to cash out and trying to hit the exits all at once. Many flippers take out hard money loans and they have to sell fast because carrying costs are very high. We are also repeating history with very low quality mortgage underwriting done almost exclusively by shadow banks which aren’t subject to the same rules as actual deposit taking banks.

  8. When I was involved with all the workshops that ostensibly tried to deal with growth, the only answer was HOW to take in more of it. Smart Growth was the political dynamic that tried to explain this dilemma and foster “solutions.” I used to embrace such concepts, but at some point I saw the poison in the KoolAid.

    The REAL answer is Guardian’s suggestion that we stop the merchandising. Absolutely, we need to stop it. We also need to educate what will happen if we allow too many people into too small of space. You will get complex problems that demand too much government to “fix.” Except nothing gets fixed. Look at California or Portland. You get chaos and destruction.

    We need to eliminate this “easy credit” system and restore a sound money system. True price discovery is the key. I’ve yelled this all before and I will keep doing it. Ask yourself if YOU want ANTIFA setting up shop here in Boise. They are a pestilence that will breed with the numbers. I witnessed their types when I participated in Occupy Boise, years ago. They just didn’t have a name yet. STOP THE GROWTH.

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