Local news. Locally owned.

Analysis: Ugly scene at first stadium meeting shows rift over Boise’s growth

ICCU Idaho
NEWS ANALYSIS

I didn’t recognize Boise last night.

BoiseDev Project Tracker

  • Boise Sports Park

Presented by TOK

Neighborhood meetings are usually small affairs with just a few people showing up. But due to widespread media attention and at the urging of several groups opposed to a downtown Boise stadium project at Americana and Shoreline, this one had a crowd.

And the whole scene was ugly.

Dozens of citizens shouted and hollered and interrupted.

The developer did not show up – and sent one attorney with no microphone to address the throng.

- Story continues below ads -
The Sundance Company
Tamarack Summer

Citizens were upset about just about everything. Worried about parking. Concerned about crowd noise. Leery of traffic. Unhappy the mayor didn’t show up.

Geoff Wardle with Spink Butler tried to stay calm as he was being yelled at. His answers fell on deaf ears. But the disaster was one of Greenstone Properties’ making. Last year I was critical of the handling of the stadium project for being too calculated by city leaders. This went in the opposite direction.

Wardle told KTVB they only expected those invited neighbors to show up. That’s a very bad misread of the situation. Two vocal groups of Boise citizens are not keen on a stadium in that location and have shown the ability to organize in the past. Concerned Boise Taxpayers is well-organized and Vanishing Boise is passionate.

Greenstone had a chance to showcase the project and control the chaos. A few displays, a small riser for speakers and a microphone would have gone a long way. Sending just a single attorney and not having anyone from the development team looked disrespectful and dismissive. The crowd couldn’t hear Wardle speak which contributed to the atmosphere.

The crowd looked like something out of the show Parks and Rec. It made for great video for the media throng in attendance, but the lack of civility seems to be giving people pause.

Boise is changing and people are worried. The quality of life the area is known for seems under threat and is stirring passion. Leaders have been pro-growth and pro-developer for quite some time, in search of a healthy vibrant economy. The stadium project is at the eye of this storm and the months ahead will show a lot about how leaders and citizens want to forge ahead.

Just as the developers have the right to pitch a project, citizens have a right to make their voices heard. Neither did so in the most effective way last night.

Love our stories? Get them delivered straight to your inbox each afternoon. Plus, support BoiseDev's independent journalism.

Popular

Micron continues large-scale revamp of Boise campus with latest project

Boise-based Micron Technology continues its large-scale revamp of the Boise campus. A newly-issued building permit shows the tech. giant...

Report: Boise tech firm Clearwater Analytics considers sale or other options

Clearwater Analytics, a Boise-based firm that helps companies with financial software solutions, could soon find new owners. Reuters reports...

Related

“Dream site:” Ahlquist says his firm would be interested in redevelopment of Expo Idaho

With the future of Expo Idaho on the Boise River currently up for debate, one prominent local developer says his firm might...

McLean asks for ‘autopsy’ on Boise’s ties to stadium project

Mayor Lauren McLean said she directed staff to take a close look at any involvement the city had with a possible downtown...
Holland and Hart

Latest

Report: Boise tech firm Clearwater Analytics considers sale or other options

Clearwater Analytics, a Boise-based firm that helps companies with financial software solutions, could soon find new owners. Reuters reports...

Project would tuck condos onto site of single-family home

A proposal to add 16 condos on the site of a single-family home will go through the City of Boise's planning process...

Boise, McLean name building award winners: affordable housing, Boise State, Ronald McDonald House & more

The City of Boise announced the 2020 Building Excellence Award winners. They allocate the awards to people, businesses and organizations who helped...

Country, news, public radio got listeners’ attention during spring radio ratings

The twice-yearly ratings for Boise's radio stations hit the streets late last month. For the second ratings period in a row, they...

Mother-daughter owned Meridian business stays afloat with live social media sales

By Karen Lehr / Idaho News 6 The coronavirus pandemic is forcing many...

Housing and health: Saint Al’s partners with LEAP to help create more affordable housing in Boise

Saint Alphonsus Health System and LEAP Housing Solutions have partnered up to create a land trust. LEAP, an...