By one 2004 estimate, there were about 3,500 downtown residents. Between 35,000 and 40,000 work downtown depending if you count Boise State and St. Luke's as downtown. And on July 11, there were an estimated 17,468 people at the Saturday Capital City Market on Eighth Street.
More than 20 downtown residents showed up Thursday night for an organizational meeting of the newly formed Downtown Neighborhood Association. There was a five-way tie for the eighth seat on the board, so DNA coordinator Karen Sander, who runs the Downtown Business Association, opted to seat nine people and figure out how to deal with it at the first board meeting.
The list of board members includes: Gail Young, former Ada County Commissioner Judy Peavey-Derr, Brian Ballard, Diana and Walt Sledzieski, Rick Mattoon, business owner Theresa Browning, Teresa and Arthur Hamblin and new Boise resident Vivek Pahariya.
"You're the new pioneers and I think we actually owe you a debt of thanks," said Boise City Planning Chief Bruce Chatterton. Chatterton, who just bought a hybrid car, said he aspires to one day live downtown. Two city planners at the meeting urged the new association to get involved in downtown projects like the Simplot family's JUMP project. Only one person testified at hearings for a Whole Foods downtown, and they'd like to see more community input on large developments.
Chatterton and Pam Sheldon from CCDC briefed downtown residents on master plans for the city, specifically for the downtown area. In December, the city plans to consolidate many of the neighborhood plans into a comprehensive document.