Locally owned. Supported by members.

Meroise? Boisidian? Project on line between Boise & Meridian illustrates differences in development approaches

Tamarack Resort Q4 2020

Boise and Meridian, increasingly are one large city with an invisible political border.

But the two cities bring very different approaches to development and growth.

That friction took center stage at Boise City Hall Tuesday, as prolific developer Jim Conger made an unusual request. He asked Boise to let a piece of land move from its area of impact – to Meridian’s.

Conger hopes to build a development of single-family homes as well as apartments, just west of Eagle Rd. But that invisible border in the so-called Delano Subdivision splits the two parcels. One part sits in Meridian’s area, while the other remains in Boise’s.

Conger first applied to Boise last year on the project. But after a discussion with Boise City Council recommending a public hearing, Conger decided to hold off.

- Story continues below ads -
ULI Idaho
IBL Events

He hopes to build about 80 single-family homes in Meridian, and an apartment complex consisting of five buildings and a clubhouse on the Boise side.

Which way should it go?

The council had two options: leave the parcel in its impact, or let it go to Meridian. It weighed a list of pros and cons prepared by staff. By keeping the site in Boise, councilors were told it would keep consistency to the area of impact boundary, allow them to have oversight of the development’s design, and keep potential tax revenue in city coffers.

Planners estimated the tax impact at $60,000 to $125,000 per year.

By letting it go to Meridian, it would lose the design oversight and tax revenue.

“The development before us is not a City of Boise (style) development,” council member Holli Woodings said. “I’m looking at the potential connectivity and the street pattern in Meridian is so much different than what we do here.”

Traffic along busy Eagle Rd. and the streets around it became a prime concern. The development is more akin to Meridian’s development pattern, and would not include access on Eagle Rd. The Idaho Transportation Department limits the number and locations to Eagle Rd. due to its status as a state highway.

Boise’s city council consider the request. Photo: Don Day/BoiseDev

“I’m just so troubled by the lack of connectivity and the impact as we’ve heard from the neighbors that it has on the roads that are asked to be the connectors,” council member Elaine Clegg said. “Eagle Road is a mess, we know that. But 30 years from now it might not be a mess and we’ll still be stuck with this infrastructure pattern.”

A big consideration on the project was connecting sewer and water lines. The discussion got into items like lift stations, sewer loops and other wonky details that come with infrastructure.

The future of collaboration

Council President Lauren McLean said that from a sewer and water standpoint, it made sense to let the project move fully to Meridian.

“If we approve this it’s more possible to have the conversation about connectivity with Meridian,” McLean said. “I would ask that the applicant be part of those conversations in areas where our boundaries are touching and roads are not providing the service necessary.”

The newest member of the council, Lisa Sánchez, said she hopes conversations between the cities of the region will continue to grow.

“Our boundaries are growing closer and closer together and we are going to have to start working with each other, but we aren’t there yet,” Sánchez said. “In the future, I hope we will be more in alignment that our community is growing more and more connected.”

Ultimately, the council voted four to one to approve the transfer to Meridian. Only Holli Woodings voted against it.

Local news. Locally owned. Supported by members.

Your membership makes these stories possible. Plus, you get our popular daily email with all our stories delivered straight to you.

Don Day
Don is the founder and editor of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow.

Lower stress boosts outcomes for animals at new Humane Society shelter

With its new building, the Idaho Humane Society entered a new era.  About a year ago, the nonprofit moved...

NeighborWorks plans 39 affordable homes in ‘pocket’ of old Cole school site

A developer hopes to slide a small neighborhood into a 'pocket' on the site of the historic former Cole Elementary School.

Ada Co. housing market keeps climbing — fast

Ada County's hot housing market is showing no signs of slowing. Data from Boise Regional Realtors showed another...

‘Couldn’t be happier:’ Classic drive-thru Hungry Onion reopens after closure, dessert venture

Last year, BoiseDev told you about the closure of Meridian's Hungry Onion. After nearly 60 years in business, the grills stopped operating...

Popular

Ketchum could see new 4-star hotel along Main St.

Ketchum's Planning and Zoning met Tuesday to consider a proposal to add a new four-star hotel to the main gateway to the...

Growth & Ada elections: Homebuilders, developers weigh in with cash and ads

Ada County’s local elections raked in big donations, with homebuilders and an associated political action committee making...

New cryotherapy and wellness spa set for Boise’s Bown Crossing

A new wellness business will open in Bown Crossing, on the ground floor of an office building. Business owner Tim Jolicoeur says Restore...

Building demolition will wait so Boise & nonprofits can open winter homeless shelter

A warm place to go is opening for those experiencing homeless in Boise during the pandemic. On November 1,...
Tamarack Resort Q4 2020

Related

Growth & Ada elections: Homebuilders, developers weigh in with cash and ads

Ada County’s local elections raked in big donations, with homebuilders and an associated political action committee making...

Boise discussing housing incentive for ‘extremely low-income’ units

Boise is launching another effort to encourage developers to build affordable housing.  Mayor Lauren McLean is resurrecting an old...

Public art honoring Central Addition history coming to Broad Street in 2021

A new public art piece is coming to Broad Street next summer.  On Tuesday, Boise City Council approved a...

“CCDC 3.0:” McLean talks about housing and the direction of Boise’s urban renewal agency

Boise Mayor Lauren McLean largely campaigned on changing the approach to growth and housing in Boise. With both rent and housing prices...

Latest

Growth & Ada elections: Homebuilders, developers weigh in with cash and ads

Ada County’s local elections raked in big donations, with homebuilders and an associated political action committee making...

Ketchum could see new 4-star hotel along Main St.

Ketchum's Planning and Zoning met Tuesday to consider a proposal to add a new four-star hotel to the main gateway to the...

Saint Als opens clinic for COVID patients who don’t need to be in the hospital

Saint Alphonsus Health System opened a new clinic on the Boise Bench for COVID-19 patients who need medical care -- but don't...

Boise discussing housing incentive for ‘extremely low-income’ units

Boise is launching another effort to encourage developers to build affordable housing.  Mayor Lauren McLean is resurrecting an old...

Building demolition will wait so Boise & nonprofits can open winter homeless shelter

A warm place to go is opening for those experiencing homeless in Boise during the pandemic. On November 1,...

Public art honoring Central Addition history coming to Broad Street in 2021

A new public art piece is coming to Broad Street next summer.  On Tuesday, Boise City Council approved a...