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Harris Ranch family seeking to trade Barber Valley land for SW Boise’s Murgoitio park site

The Harris Ranch Limited Partnership is the development group hoping to swap land with the City of Boise to develop the long dormant Murgoitio park site in Southwest Boise. 

On Tuesday, BoiseDev obtained a news release from Atlas Strategic Communications on behalf of the Harris Ranch Limited Partnership, revealing the development group’s proposal for the land swap. The Harris Ranch Limited Partnership, owned by the Harris family, is the owner of Harris Ranch in Boise’s Barber Valley.

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Doug Fowler, developer of Harris Ranch, touted the swap in the news release as a way to develop the property in a way that benefits the whole community. The land the Harris family is proposing to swap is either side of the Idaho Power corridor north of Barber Road. Most of the land north of Barber Drive is already marked to not be developed on the specific plan for the area.

“We hope to help turn it into a project that elevates the entire community and we look forward to input from the surrounding neighborhood,” Fowler wrote. “Further, the opportunity to place a substantial piece of Boise’s iconic foothills into the care of the City of Boise ensures the foothills will continue to benefit all Boise residents for years to come.”

[Proposed Harris Ranch project would add homes to Boise foothills next to popular trail]

Neighbors say #DontStealOurPark

Since the news broke last week, residents of Southwest Boise and others in and around the city have been outraged at the proposal to swap the 160-acre park site for a then-unnamed developer to build homes on and a 7-acre park. Neighbors in opposition have since formed a nonprofit, Friends of Murgoitio Park, and hired a lawyer to fight the possibility of the swap.

The release said the plan for the area is single-family homes priced below median Boise and Ada County rates, “bringing crucially needed workforce housing inventory” to the region’s tight market. As part of the proposal, the Harris Family Limited Partnership would give roughly 7-acres to the City of Boise to build a park with soccer fields, bocce courts, family gathering space “and more.” The park is expected to be completed two years after the developer purchases the property.

While this is going on, the City of Boise is also in talks with the Boise Independent School District to use 40 acres adjacent to the parcel to develop into public open space.

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Margaret Carmel - BoiseDev Sr. Reporter
Margaret Carmel is a BoiseDev reporter focused on the City of Boise, housing, homelessness and growth. Contact her at [email protected] or by phone at (757)705-8066.

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