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Ada County Commissioners Keep Proposed Airstrip in Holding Pattern Two More Weeks

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This is the Piper Supercub a property owner in the Wild Horse subdivision wants to land in the Boise Foothills. - ADA COUNTY DEVELOPMENT SERVICES
  • Ada County Development Services
  • This is the Piper Supercub a property owner in the Wild Horse subdivision wants to land in the Boise Foothills.


After listening to more than three hours of nearly evenly-split testimony—16 in favor and 14 against—Ada County Commissioners said Wednesday night they needed more time before offering a final verdict on a proposed airstrip in the Boise Foothills near Table Rock.

Boise Fire Chief Dennis Doan told county commissioners what he told Boise Weekly earlier this month.

"I want to go on record and be clear," said Doan. "We will not respond to an airplane accident. We will not respond to a wildfire. We will not respond to a structure fire."

Doan said the city's issues with fire protection for the Wildhorse Subdivision, which sits just outside the city limits and is where resident Dean Hilde wants to build an airstrip next to his house, goes back nearly a decade: In Nov. 2007, BFD doused a wildfire, which could have destroyed the subdivision. However, when BFD asked Wildhorse to pay a $15,000 bill for battling the flames, homeowners refused. Shortly thereafter, Doan said, the subdivision created its own "fire protection district."

"But it's a sham," said Doan, saying the district has no resources or personnel. Worse yet, he said, every time city firefighters ask for a wider road to move emergency vehicles in and out of the area, the subdivision balks. 

The proposed 149-acre site in the Boise Foothills, north of Table Rock, for a single-family residence and private airstrip. - ADA COUNTY
  • Ada County
  • The proposed 149-acre site in the Boise Foothills, north of Table Rock, for a single-family residence and private airstrip.
Meanwhile, Hilde and many of his neighbors told Ada County Commissioners he's doing everything by the book, and there is no reason why he shouldn't be able to build an airstrip and hangar in the Foothills.

The City of Boise officially appealed an earlier decision by Ada County Planning and Zoning Commissioners, which granted preliminary approval of the airstrip. Due to the appeal, county commissioners will be the final arbiters on the matter. Before gaveling to a close late Wednesday night, they announced they needed at least two more weeks to make a decision and will reconvene Wednesday, Aug. 10,  when they're expected to rule on the appeal.