Nampa's Roundabout Lawsuit Heads to Idaho Supreme Court


  • Idaho Press-Tribune

The city of Boise has experienced its own tribulations with the proposal to build a downtown roundabout. Earlier this summer, Boise Weekly readers learned about the plan to build a mini-roundabout at Third and Bannock streets starting this fall. But the Ada County Highway District shelved the project indefinitely after Boise City Council members said "no thanks," stating concerns over timing and design. When the City Council suggested the roundabout location be moved to Grove Street, ACHD didn't bite, saying the money had already been spent on planning for the original location.

Little has been resolved on that front, but now the city of Nampa has its head spinning over a roundabout, too. According to the Idaho Press-Tribune, a long simmering lawsuit brought by two property owners against the city of Nampa over the roundabout plan is headed to the Idaho Supreme Court.

Douglas Pfenninger and Katrina Yoder own property on the southeast corner of the intersection where the roundabout was proposed—Midland Boulevard and Lake Lowell Avenue. The roundabout was fronted in 2008, and they sued the city in 2012 with a claim that their property had been undervalued by more than $750,000.

Court documents showed the city appraised the property (complete with nine acres, a house, shop, pasture and corrals) for more than $997,000 in 2008, then appraised it again for $231,330 in 2012.

When negotiations fell through and the case reached the district court, the judge sided with the city and ordered the property owners to pay $61,000 in court fees. The property owners appealed the decision to the district court, but it was dismissed in March.

The Idaho Supreme Court has decided to take the case on, and will hear oral arguments as soon as the end of the year. City officials told the Press-Tribune that the $1 million allocated to the roundabout will instead be used for improvements on a nearby intersection. The city's master plan calls for a roundabout at the intersection of Midland Boulevard and Lone Star Road as well, but with the current backlash, it may reconsider.