Council says smaller is better on the Boise bench 

Stroll down Crescent Rim and gaze toward the Boise Foothills, the lush parks below, the mountains. Nice view. Residents and developers think so, too, but that vista could become a condominium complex if city leaders continue to give the OK to build a high-density residential building.

The Boise City Planning and Zoning Commission gave their thumbs-up to the $40-million project after initially rejecting a larger plan that developers said could shape future development in the valley. Commissioners considered more than six hours of testimony before passing the project May 4.

Neighbors voiced concern that the five-story, 92-unit complex would obstruct views, alter the nature of their mostly one-story, historic neighborhood and turn the area's quiet streets into heavy-use roadways. Developer Bill Clark said high-density building offers an antidote to sprawl and that added features such as pathways and landscaping would beautify the neighborhood.

After the commission rejected Clark's plan in January, designers went back to the drawing board and downsized the building's height and cut the units back to 86. The Council then gave the OK to what Clark called a "more residential feel."

Neighborhood residents, concerned about traffic congestion, pedestrian safety and issues including environmental impacts, plan to appeal the commission's decision.

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