In an effort to feed the growth machine and urban sprawl, the City of Boise is proposing to make public land intended for the future Murgoitio Park available to real estate speculators.
About 160 acres of public land south of Victory between S. Cole and S. Maple Grove owned by Boise City are targeted for a land swap, which would rob SW Boise of its promised open space to add more acres for the North End Foothills crowd. Not only will SW Boise lose public open space, it will increase demand for city services in the area south of Victory between S. Cole and S. Maple Grove. The City claims they do not have the money necessary to green up the park space, even though they have collected park impact fees from residents of SW Boise and the Area of Impact for years, and while the City is actively building and remodeling new parks in downtown and along the river.
Boise would annex the land and enter into a trade deal that will benefit a developer. Land swaps are used to get around the Idaho Code legal requirements of declaring property to be “surplus” and selling it at public auction to the highest bidder. Land swaps get around the law and allow the City to determine who will get the public land. In this case the City has already met with the developer and worked out a back door deal out of sight of the public. When asked by the Neighborhood Association who the developer was, the City refused to identify them.
First step in converting the open space to rooftops is a virtual Zoom meeting June 17 between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. Information can be found HERE
The GUARDIAN has been a long time advocate of OPEN SPACE and conservation easements for all areas of the city–not just the foothills. As a GROWTHOPHOBE, we feel the idea of swapping land, increasing population, assisting a developer, and increasing demand for services to be repugnant.
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