The once anonymous private pilot who wants to build a private airstrip in the Boise Foothills is now quite public.
When Boise Weekly first reported
on the proposal April 19, the name Dean Hilde was nowhere to be found on the paperwork submitted to the city of Boise, asking officials to weigh in on the plan to build a hangar in the Boise Foothills, just north of Table Rock. Instead, Boise-based Briggs Engineering was making the request on behalf of its client—Hilde.
That triggered a series of letters from the Boise Fire and Parks and Recreation departments recommending denial. Additionally, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game said it had "primary concerns of disturbance" to wintering elk and deer, adding, "the presence of wildlife on the airstrip would make it unusable." As a result, the Boise City Council urged Ada County officials to deny the application. What's more, it was later learned Hilde had already been landing his private plane
in the foothills without anyone's permission. Only when he approached Ada County for a permit for his hangar was Hilde told he needed to stop landing his plane in the area without a proper runway permit.
More than a few citizens were surprised when the Ada County Planning and Zoning Commission went ahead May 6
and approved a conditional use permit for the landing strip to be built.
That, in turn, prompted the Boise City Council to weigh in once more
, saying it would appeal the Ada County decision, with Councilman TJ Thomson echoing his fellow lawmakers when he said, "This is completely out of touch with our community."
Now, Hilde is telling any media outlet that will listen that he feels like the victim, telling KTVB-TV
that the Boise City Council, "really didn't give me a fair shot" adding that city staff were "uninformed." Hilde insists the city hadn't spent any time discussing the plan with him.
An anonymous tipster forwarded to Boise Weekly
an email exchange between Hilde and Boise Mayor Dave Bieter. Hilde wrote to Bieter April 20, saying neither he nor his agent were contacted by any city staff prior to the City Council's decision. Bieter responded May 11 that, "your agent was aware of the item due to its publication on the agenda" and had indeed been in discussion with city staff.
Meanwhile, members of the public have 15 days [from the time of the P&Z ruling] to file an appeal on the matter to Ada County Development Services.