Scaled-down townhome project approved on Boise Bench

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A new townhome development is headed to the Boise Bench.

Boise City Council unanimously approved a subdivision with 15 townhomes at the corner of Overland Road and Shoshone Street on Tuesday evening, down from the 18 originally proposed by Rodney Evans + Partners for the site. 

The original proposal included tearing down a 1935 era single-family home on the property to make way for the subdivision called Helen’s Village. But, after an outcry from the Vista Neighborhood Association, the developer opted to redesign the project and maintain the historic home. It will be renovated back from an office for Progressive Nursing to a single-family home. 

Nobody spoke in favor or against the project in the public hearing. 

City Council Member Holli Woodings praised the developer for the redesign, even if it meant losing some more trees on the site. The developer plans to plant 71 new trees on the parcel. 

“I know one of the major points of opposition was the loss of that house,” Woodings said. “Even though it doesn’t necessarily fit historical status the way a lot of our neighborhoods do I think it’s been an important structure up on the bench for a number of years so I am appreciative of this infill project that gives us the housing we need while preserving the structures that are important to neighborhoods.”

A sidewalk switch up

Ben Semple, representing the developer, also requested council allow them to build a seven-foot attached sidewalk, instead of a detached sidewalk with trees and grass separating the sidewalk and the road. He said this would allow for more front yard space for the townhomes to plant trees and better infrastructure for the Valley Regional Transit stop at the corner of Overland and Shoshone. 

City Council Members agreed, noting that there were no detached sidewalks anywhere nearby the project and the street had multiple small properties unlikely to develop in the coming years. This would mean the detached sidewalk would stick out at a different place than the rest of the sidewalk, causing issues for pedestrians.

“Given what (city staff) had to say about the difficulty of patching (detached sidewalks) together, the unpleasantness of having to zig-zag like that and how removing this might allow for better options of public transit on the corner I will be supporting the motion,” City Council Member Patrick Bageant said.

Margaret Carmel - BoiseDev Sr. Reporter
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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