Thank you, Harrison, for covering this story. However, I believe your conclusion that this issue is a lost cause is premature.
The original plan was approved in 2010. Since then, the developer has changed, the acreage has changed, the number of houses has changed, the commercial space has changed, the number of schools has changed. All of these changes are substantial. Boise Hunter Homes should have to apply as a new application, not as an "amendment" to a different plan. I believe the Board of County Commissioners is justified in denying the "amendment" on these grounds alone.
There was no notice for the public hearing on 12/15/16 as required by Ada County Ordinance and Idaho Code. Posting notice is not hard. If, as they claim, Boise Hunter Homes plans to develop a unique, farm-to-table community, shouldn't they want as many people to know about it as possible, since such a special plan will surely benefit the community? Or...
If the Board of County Commissioners deny this "amendment," will Boise Hunter Homes develop the original approved plan? If they will not, a denial would stop this whole project. This important question must be answered before a final decision is made.
The developer should not be able to get away with this. They have cobbled together a scattershot, completely unworkable plan for Wildlife. it is an insult to Ada County residents to consider that "mitigation" for this project could include a conservation easement somewhere unknown 30-50 miles away in Elmore County. Plus, the "Open Space" for the Theme Park shoves the deer and elk right out by the main Highway to Horseshoe Bend --- creating a death trap for both animals and motorists.
The application amendment was sought because the existing plan won't pen out. The suggestion that the status quo is worse than the amendment is a developer talking point which ignores the underlying motive/necessity that the amendment be sought in the first place.
If the Commissioners want to find ways to preserve this place for its remarkable history, its incredible agricultural values, and for the wildlife habitat -- the best way to do so is by preserving the status quo: voting no on the amendment before them.
Should the commissioners vote no, or in the alternative remand to the PZC, Ada County citizens will have more time to negotiate opportunities to preserve the very values mentioned.
The original plat expired February 10. They could not approve the amendment and have the process start over. We could save it. It will take leadership with forsite.
The Ada County Commissioners have the power to stop it. Yes it should have been stopped 10 years ago and it will be painful to stop now...but better than regretting not taking a bold action today. They have the power and they can change the outcome. Saying they can't is a cop out, as is holding the vote at 9am on Tuesday when public participation will be minimal.
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