City Government

Mayor Nixes SW Land Swap

Mayor Lauren McLean has put the brakes on the ill-advised land swap of 160 acres of designated park land in SW Boise.

According to the STATESMAN Heronner declared the deal no longer made “financial sense.”

The GUARDIAN broke the original story after neighbors contacted us crying foul, saying the land had been promised as a park for nearly two decades.

We posted several stories which showed the disparity in land values between the SW cropland and the Harris Ranch foot hills property.

The legacy media jumped on the story and it looks like development will be cut short on the public land at least for now.

If the McLean decision holds, she deserves a pat on the back for responding to the will of the citizens over that of developers.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. I honestly feel that this land swap was halted due to the investigative and quality reporting by The Boise Guardian. Thank you Dave!

    EDITOR NOTE–Thanks for the kudos, but we only started the process. Margaret Carmel at BOISEDEV did the deep dive work.

  2. Careful….Deep Dive is trademarked!

    Glad to see common sense prevail. Politicians should be very suspicious when a developer proposes a land swap.

  3. A Real Idahoan
    Jul 20, 2021, 11:29 am

    Thieves, burglars, cockroaches, and commie dictators all eschew and react to the the light. . . especially a spot light trained on them individually.

  4. Let’s note that the BoiseDev ‘Deep Dive'(TM) was possible due to the Freedom of Information laws.

    At the same time, there are many officials trying to avoid the intent of public information and open meeting laws, by using personal communication systems instead of ‘official’ communication channels; social media, personal email, and personal cell texting are just 3 examples.

    Intentional or just sloppiness, that weakness of govt transparency runs from the previous USSECSTATE using a personal computer server to an ACHD Commissioner commonly saying, ‘call my personal phone number’.

    Many of our legislators and elected folks are using social media for their official discussions. It’s tough to know where it is all happening and where to go to get needed information for a complete analysis.

    If our state officials are truly concerned about government transparency (I don’t believe they are) they would toughen the rules by starting with more than a $250 fine.

  5. Me thinks it wasn’t so much a sudden act of altruism from Madame Mayor but an exhibit of her not being as adept and masterful at these backdoor shenanigans as her predecessor. Lets hope she is out of office before reaching that level.

    Thanks editor for bringing this to the attention of the local legacy media.

  6. Not sure that if I were the neighborhood I would be spiking the football. City very well could annex property and sell it to CBH. The neighborhood might be much worse off than they would have been with the trade. A small park might be better than no park…..

  7. Eamonn Harter
    Jul 21, 2021, 4:54 pm

    I guess we could ask heronner to do an experiment: place a $128MM minimum asking price on that parcel, and see if there are any offers. If there are, then cut a $640 rebate check to each of Boise’s 200,000 or so residents. If not, then make good on the park you promised for decades. Either put your money where your mouth is about doing good by the citizens, or take a hike. The priority of a city shouldn’t be providing housing or other silly nonsense.

  8. We need to cheer for what we want
    Jul 22, 2021, 8:18 am

    The input I’m getting is that an annexation and a park will occur. A portion (about 10%) will be some affordable housing stumpies with views at one side. (Like Ann M park.) Running trails and camping spots, community gardens to start.

  9. McLean is worse than bieter
    Jul 22, 2021, 10:23 am

    McLean doesn’t deserve a pat on the back. If she had gone forward with this, it would have been illegal! You have to trade property like for like. This didn’t even come close.

    It was a sweetheart deal, ginned up well over a year ago. that was done in darkness. Didn’t she run on transparency?

    No, sun light shining on the rot in the mayors office is what put the kibosh on the “deal”.

    And don’t worry, she’ll be back with another scheme to build houses for people who don’t live here yet and sooner than you think.

  10. From bitter experience I know how hard it is to get city officials to honor agreements made several years ago. I would think a reasonable compromise would be to sell half for development and leave half for a park
    An 80 Acre park is still a big park and the Impact Fees from the development would go a long way towards paying to develop the park which would be done sooner rather than later–or never.

  11. Maybe the mayor is thinking of building a new Interfaith Sanctuary out there with a bunch of “affordable” homes. Then they would out of view of those officials living in the North End.

  12. Paul Mitchell
    Jul 22, 2021, 6:14 pm

    Every article about SW should note that the area has strongly rejected becoming part of Boise City at every moment in living memory. We paid to fix their sewer system, now they want a park paid by us (actual Boise residents). What should happen here, instead of trying to weasel more services out of Boise, the residents should incorporate as their own city, buy the sewer system we built them and buy this park land and do whatever they want with it. When this land was bought within the “area of impact” of the city, one would presume the residents of the area would want to be part of Boise City. Yet SW never have until the freebie was possibly going to disappear. (Yes McLean as usual was clueless about the sale price etc, but let’s not forget most of the uproar was over the City not building a park for a bunch of free loading “county” folk.)

  13. Here is another GOOD reason to have districting of OUR ELECTED PUBLIC SERVANTS, city council members.We ALL experience OUT OF SITE OUT OF MIND!

  14. Paul. I don’t know what the breakdown was, but the City didn’t foot the whole bill for the sewer expansion. My share in the 90s was around $10k just to get the line past my house. Not including the line from house to street.

  15. Your story does not wash. You must have been putting in new construction. That is an outrageous $$ for the ’90’s.

    I assert that you are less than truthful. Especially if you don’t know the breakdown. If you were really involved and putting out 10k, you would know.

    So many of these commenters are contradicting themselves. Like saying The mayor is awful because she didn’t do something illegal and is not as cagey as the previous mayor.

    I think the city council needs some turnover, but the executive is really doing a good job imho.

  16. It’s going to get interesting.

  17. Districts helping? Nope! Consider the example of Luci Willits, who just announced she’s running. Claims she’s been in West Boise for 2 decades. If she was a “good” candidate, why is she waiting until now to run?

    Sad, just sad. Prepare for city politics to get even uglier. This makes me sad 🙁

  18. McLean is worse than bieter
    Jul 24, 2021, 4:19 pm

    Dear To erico49

    Do you honestly think the city paid for every hookup? Give us a break. The homeowner paid a hook on fee, paid for the pipe from the street to their house AND a portion of extending the trunk line.

    I had to hook on to sewer in 1978 and my portion of the LID was $2500.

    You see where our sewer bills are going up 53% this year with Boise? And that’s after year after year after year of sewer increases.

    If anyone doesn’t know of what they speak, it’s you. Does Lauren pay you to comment?

  19. 1. When I said I didn’t know the breakdown, I *admitted* that I didn’t know how much the city paid vs. homeowners. I just said it wasn’t a total gift for which we contributed zero. 2. Thinking back, my cost may not have been $10k, but it was certainly more than $6k for the hookup fee to the City. Enough that the City offered low-interest loans on the provision that we signed a doc promising not to oppose annexation–which happened in that area not many years later. Only those of us who hooked up had to pay the fee. Signed up at what was then the Ada County Community Library on Victory. My septic system was fine, but I didn’t want to worry about it anymore.

  20. Or, 10000 > 2500

    This story is not about current sewer increases. I saw it, and it is a major repair. You can buy the bonds if you want an offset.

    No one pays me to speak, I just abhor blabber.

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