When Ada County Highway District commissioners opened the proposed Highlands Cove subdivision
to public testimony in June, more than 100 people turned out and testified for more than four hours—overwhelmingly against the proposed 60 homes to be built in the Highlands.
Regardless, ACHD commissioners approved the developers' application
and passed it along to the Boise Planning and Zoning Department. City staff presented proposal to the Planning and Zoning Commission in September with a recommendation to approve it, but not before another round of public testimony, which ended around 2 a.m. The commission ultimately voted against the proposal
Now it's the Boise City Council's turn
to weigh in on the plan, which will receive its final hearing Tuesday, Dec. 1 at 6 p.m. on the third floor of City Hall.
Driving along Harrison Boulevard this morning, commuters may have noticed dozens of yellow yard signs stating "Highlands Cove = 600 More Cars Per Day." The signs list the time and location of the Dec. 1 hearing in an effort to drive public testimony against the proposal.
"I love this area. I would hate to lose it and so would a lot of other people," Krista Lyons, a concerned Highlands resident, told Boise Weekly
in August. "This is the central foothills. It's the backdrop to the city."
The proposed subdivision would be built on the land between the end of 15th Street and Braemere Road, along the edge of Crane Creek Golf Course. According to ACHD, adding 60 houses also means adding nearly 600 more car trips per day through the streets of the Highlands.
"These roads were not built to have this kind of traffic," Lyons said, pointing to blind corners and steep driveways, as well as the number of children and bicyclists in the area.
It was those traffic concerns that made the Planning and Zoning Commission turn down the application, according to Boise City Associate Planner Leon Letson.
"[The roads] are old, there aren't a lot of sidewalks, there are blind curves. The commission recognized there are issues in the area and dealing with this project would push those issues in a direction that's unacceptable," he said.
The developers have since proposed adding 13 speed humps to Highland View Drive and restricting residential parking to one side of the street so pedestrians and bikes can use the other side. After the Planning and Zoning Commission's denial, the developers filed for an appeal to be taken up by the Boise City Council.