City Recommends Extending Impact Area 

A public hearing on extending Boise City's area of impact to include 1,498 acres north of Highway 21 known as Hammer Flat drew over 100 people last Thursday evening. Testifiers included wildlife advocates, tribal representatives concerned about ancestral remains in the area and representatives from the company interested in developing Hammer Flat. After listening to over two-and-a-half hours of testimony, Boise City Planning and Zoning commissioners voted to recommend the extension and accompanying management plan amendments.

Extending the Boise City Area of Impact to include Hammer Flat would give the city some jurisdiction over potential developments, such as a subdivision proposed by local company Skyline Development. Skyline's proposal of a 1,400 home planned community at Hammer Flat raised concern among wildlife advocates and citizens who fear the subdivision would weigh heavily on city services. Under current land management conditions, Ada County has the power to approve or reject a proposal for Hammer Flat without city input.

Recreationists and wildlife advocates who testified in support of the extension said the city is better qualified to make development decisions for Hammer Flat than Ada County, since the city has incorporated the Foothills Open Space Management Plan into its comprehensive plan. Although Ada County is a signatory of the foothills plan, it has neglected to adopt the plan's policies into its own management criteria.

Boise Resident Chris Hendriksen testified his support for the area of impact extension, "Because the county seems to be willing to allow to this high-density development to proceed and because the county's land use plan is advisory at best, the citizens of the Treasure Valley will be better served if the City of Boise's land use plans govern the area."

The city is expected to hold another hearing and vote on this issue next month.

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