planned communities

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Dry Creek Ranch tabled till March

Posted By on Wed, Jan 7, 2009 at 8:50 PM

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Ada County commissioners tabled the Dry Creek Ranch planned community tonight, rescheduling it to a public hearing in March. According to county spokesman Rich Wright, the commissioners asked the developers to halve the housing density and work with the highway district on traffic mitigation.

From Ada County's press release on the hearing tonight:
By a unanimous vote, the Board of Ada County Commissioners tonight agreed to table a final decision on the Dry Creek Planned Community to a public hearing scheduled for March 11, 2009. During their deliberation, commissioners discussed their concerns about the density of the 4,300 home planned community and instructed staff to work with the applicant to explore ways the housing density could be dramatically reduced while still keeping the project viable. As proposed, the 1414 acre development would have a housing density of 8.6 dwelling units per acre. The Board of Commissioners tonight said they hoped the applicant could find a way to reduce the density to approximately 4 dwelling units per acre – a density rate that is comparable to other similar developments approved in the same general area.

In addition to concerns about housing density, the commissioners also asked the applicant to continue to work with the Idaho Transportation Department and the Ada County Highway District to develop more definitive mitigation agreements that will ensure those public transportation agencies are fully compensated for traffic mitigation efforts required if the project were allowed to move forward.

The March 11, 2009 public hearing will begin at 6pm. All land-use public hearings are held in the first floor hearing room at the Ada County Courthouse.
We wrote about planned communities in today's BW, focusing on Hidden Springs. In some ways, the only way to make a giant development like this work is to make it giant so that it can sustain some commercial activity on its own. But then you get all of the problems that density brings, like traffic. And annoying neighbors. And total ruination of Dry Creek, pictured above.

Anyone out there have a solution for this that they'd like to hip the county to?

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Monday, January 5, 2009

A planned community, 10 years later

Posted By on Mon, Jan 5, 2009 at 1:59 PM

As Ada County considers another large-scale planned community in Dry Creek, BW is taking a look back at Hidden Springs, the first planned community built in the county. Check back Wednesday for our story on Hidden Springs, 10 years out, but in the meantime you can see how Hidden Springs residents feel about their home, based on Ada County's most recent biennial survey of residents.

The survey, conducted every two years since Hidden Springs began, shows that a large number of residents have been there at least three years, and generally like the place. But one key statistic--Question 5--shows that 43 percent are not happy about having to drive to Boise or Eagle every time they need Bounty or duct tape.

Ada County commissioners will continue to discuss and maybe, finally, vote on Dry Creek Ranch this Wednesday at 6 p.m. in their hearing room on the first floor of the Ada County Courthouse. Public testimony was closed at the last hearing on the development but commissioners did not take a vote.

It looks like the Dry Creek vote will be Commissioner Paul Woods last, before he is replaced by incoming Commissioner Sharon Ullman [on Monday, Jan. 12 at 4 p.m.].

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