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Boise Council Denies Appeal Protest of Planned Foothills Subdivision


A 90-acre, 95-home development is planned for the Boise Foothills near Pierce Park Lane, north of Hill Road. - CITY OF BOISE
  • City of Boise
  • A 90-acre, 95-home development is planned for the Boise Foothills near Pierce Park Lane, north of Hill Road.

After listening to more than an hour of public testimony in which more than a dozen citizens pleaded for a 90-acre Foothills development to be halted or slowed down, the Boise City Council Tuesday night unanimously rejected their appeal.

Developer Larry Leasure has plans to build 95 homes near Pierce Park Lane north of Hill Road, and the Boise Planning and Zoning Commission gave the project the initial green light in November 2015, granting conditional use and hillside development permits for the planned community. 

"This seems to run counter to the city of Boise's idea of not placing developments in places of the Foothills that are special," said Harry Herbert, who lives on nearby North Antler Place. 

"I felt like I had been sucker punched when I read the [city of Boise] staff report recommending that our appeal be denied," said John Beecham, another neighbor

Neighbor Mary Schwartzman even quoted Dr. Seuss when she told the City Council, "We must all be like The Lorax. We must speak for the trees that have no tongue. The deer, elk and raptors who have no voice. We must speak for the land. Once they are are gone, they're not coming back."

Ultimately, the council voted unanimously to deny the appeal, but reminded residents nothing will happen on the proposed development until a full flood plan review is completed and signed off on by the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency. More than a few neighbors balked when they learned from the developer and city officials that plans for the subdivision had been submitted to the city without a full flood plan review.

"As a runner, I've passed through Deer Valley and your homes for 18 years," said Councilwoman Lauren McLean. "We found no error with P&Z's decision. But what we do see is are continuing drainage issues and floodplain questions. We'll revisit the plans for the subdivision once we have that flood plan."

Councilman TJ Thomson weighed in, saying, "There are certainly concerns, especially relating to the flood plan. I want to know the full results of that plan."

Nonetheless, opponents of the planned development left the Tuesday night meeting disheartened.