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‘Good grief’: Neighbors put up signs saying foothills trailhead parking is closed. But officials differ

BoiseDev Exclusive

Signs tell folks traveling to a trailhead in the Boise foothills that parking is closed. But officials and landowners responded and made changes after a BoiseDev reader pointed out the closure.

Earlier this week, a trail user alerted BoiseDev to the parking closure at the head of the Crestline Trail, where it meets Claremont Drive. We drove up to the site and found signs saying “trailhead parking” was closed. The signs appeared both at the base of the hill and along the road near the trailhead.

Cones blocked off the small flat area used for parking, and lined the street near the lot.

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The trail itself and small flat parking area cross land owned by Claremont Realty Company, which members of the Simplot family control. The trail is open to the public through an agreement between Claremont and the City of Boise.

Grant Petersen, Jr. owns a home in the area and told BoiseDev he erected the signs at his own expense after increasing activity in the area, including found syringes and prophylactics. Petersen also said he observed late-night camping activity on the parking lot and traffic in the neighborhood. He said he erected the signs so in consultation with the landowner.

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The signs reads “Claremont-Crestline trailhead parking is CLOSED! Residential parking on Claremont and Crestline only please! All others will be subject to tow at owners expense.”

Some of the signage and cones sat along Claremont Dr. in the public right of way. Claremont is a narrow residential street, lined with homes on one side and foothills open space on the other. While the sign might indicate all parking is closed and subject to tow, vehicles can park along the public street.

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The Ada County Highway District told BoiseDev it wasn’t aware of the makeshift closure and signs.

“The only portion that we have control over is the right of way,” ACHD spokesperson Shandy Lam said. “Our team will get the signs removed and the owners are welcome to contact us to retrieve them if they’d like them back.”

City aware of concerns

The City of Boise said it recently became aware of the closure as well.

“We are aware and we did reach out to the Simplot’s a couple weeks ago, and they indicated they were not aware of the signs,” Boise Parks and Recreation Director Doug Holloway said. “However, they are aware of the late-night issues, as are Boise Police and Ada County Sheriff’s office.“

Holloway said the city was aware of the neighborhood’s concerns and those from trail users. Some have expressed concern that the trail itself could close due to its location on private property.

“(A city staff member) has attended a couple of neighborhood meetings with BPD and Ada County to address as best as we can to prevent the permanent closure and the late-night activities,” he said.

Simpot family: Closure is temporary

Scott Simplot, who is on the board of Claremont Realty, told BoiseDev that the usual spokesperson for the company is on leave. He said any closure of the parking area is a “temporary closure.”

“The neighborhood and the people who are parking on this flat spot need to find a way to co-exist,” Simplot said. “It can’t be that hard. Good grief, if folks cannot park on the flat spot, then they will parallel park on the street. How is that better?”

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Simplot said regardless of current parking concerns, one thing the company is firm on.

“Overnight camping… that is an easy issue to clarify… Claremont doesn’t need a Board Meeting to make that decision. Overnight camping… isn’t allowed.”

Don Day - BoiseDev editor
Don is the founder and publisher of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow. Contact him at [email protected].

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