Expansion of University District on Tuesday Agenda


When the Boise City Council convenes Tuesday evening, lawmakers will be considering further expansion of the University District, which we examine in the current issue of BW (BW, May 30, News, "What's Blue, Orange and Has 1 Million (Square) Feet?").

Council members will listen to the first reading of an ordinance that would pencil out 11 parcels of land (2.19 acres) bordered by University Drive to the north, Beacon Street to the south, Manitou Avenue to the west, and Denver Avenue to the east, and change the properties' classification from "R" or residential to "U" or university district.

The ordinance says that the rezone would "reduce traffic impacts on surrounding streets" and "help to implement more on-campus housing for students" while reducing "concentrations of rentals in nearby neighborhoods." The ordinance also says that the rezone is necessary because Boise State's "master plan cannot be constructed until entire blocks are rezoned."

In this week's BW, James Maguire, associate vice president for campus planning and facilities, said the university has plans for another 1 million square feet of land parcels.

"But that's a long way down the road," said Maguire.

Boise City Council Member Elaine Clegg said she appreciates the growth of the campus, but still has concerns.

"There's a couple of things that I'm really happy about, and a couple of others that I'm worried about," she said. "Densifying the area between University and Beacon is good, but it's happening off the tax rolls."