The City of Boise and R&L Carriers have reached a deal to mitigate the effects of a proposed trucking terminal on residents of a mobile home park south of Interstate 84.
The city will trade a similarly-sized piece of property it owns south of the mobile home park near the WinCo Foods distribution center. The previously proposed parcel owned by an R&L affiliate is 13.257 acres while the City of Boise land is 13.3 acres. The new property is further away from the Blue Valley Mobile Home Park and generally down-wind from the homes.
“We began discussions with R&L more than six months ago, with hopes that we could have a better result here,” Boise Mayor Dave Bieter said. “I want to thank R&L. They’ve been really good partners here.”
The property had a former fuel depot on it, and it has been owned by the City of Boise since 2001, according to Ada County Assessor records.
The Boise City Council will be asked to approve the trade, and R&L will have to go back through the application process for the new site.
“Somewhere in the past, government let these folks down,” Bieter said. “It wasn’t city government. If you have an opportunity to make right what wasn’t, we in government ought to take that opportunity.”
The mobile home park existed before the City of Boise annexed the land.
“I hope and expect the council will approve this,” City Council President Lauren McLean said. “Sometimes you find our codes fail us, and this was one of those times. It’s our responsibility to protect the health and safety of our citizens. I’m pleased we were able to put together a swap that protects the citizens of our city.”
Bieter said the city has no plans for the property, but says it is unlikely it will stay in city hands. He said they will have conversations with Blue Valley residents to help find a use that is more compatible with the homes.
R&L Carriers originally proposed to build a truck terminal with almost 100 bays last summer, adjacent to the Blue Valley Mobile Home Park.
The property carries an industrial zoning designation and R&L hoped to build the terminal. But neighbors, civic groups and the Idaho Freedom Foundation put up a vigorous fight prompting mediation, a lawsuit, and complaints over a closed-door chat during a city council meeting.
Bieter said Friday the closed-door meeting was to encourage R&L to “make this deal,” and acknowledged that it caused intrigue. He said the city’s non-disclosure agreement with R&L made it not possible to detail the conversation.
R&L proposed the project to include general parking, a drive-thru shop, fuel island and the truck loading terminal along S. Eisenmann Road.