The Valley County Planning and Zoning Commission hearing for Roseberry Park ended in audience applause following a unanimous vote to recommend denial of the application.
All PUDs are subject to two public hearings so the planning and zoning commission recommendation moves to the Valley Co. Commission. The public will again be notified and all previous testimony will be forwarded to the commissioners.
BoiseDev first told you about the project, a proposed manufactured home park near the intersection of Roseberry Road and Norwood Road in Donnelly. It was advertised as an “affordable option for workforce housing needs.”
The application for the park said the number of manufactured homes would not exceed 201. There would be 115 single-wide and 86 double-wide homes.
“The manufactured residential single-family homes are clustered within the development to provide an affordable option to the workforce housing needs of Valley County,” the project description said.
Overwhelmingly negative feedback
The first project meeting late last week had plenty of public testimony with an overwhelming amount against the development.
After word got out about the project, a petition to deny the application was made, and a Facebook group, STOP Roseberry Park Development was formed.
A week after the first meeting, the commission met again to discuss and concluded it was not a suitable application.
“So when it’s workforce housing, doesn’t mean its low income but workforce as it has to be affordable,” Chairman Neal Thompson said. “If it’s gonna be touted as that. That’s great. But it does have to be affordable.”
Commissioner Sasha Childs added that over 40 percent of the Valley County workforce would not make enough to afford the baseline level for these homes.
Earlier this week KTVB reported Roseberry Park, LLC, said people could purchase a manufactured home from the developer for $180,000 to $220,000.
“My hope was that those 200 people would alleviate other rentals or our workforce that struggling with rentals. But as I was doing the math on this, I kind of came to this similar conclusion that this wouldn’t meet a local need,” Childs said. “It would probably bring more people into the community which isn’t necessarily a negative thing. But when we’re talking about a proposal that’s talking about affordable housing for our workforce, it doesn’t exactly meet that need.”
Not the “right application”
Commissioner Ken Roberts listed various violations or examples of the applicant not following Idaho code, the comprehensive plan, and various codes and ordinances to justify the denial. This includes the application not protecting surrounding property’s private property rights and that this application does not try to maintain the “natural character of the land.”
“To protect the property rights while making accommodations for other necessary types of developments such as low-cost housing, and mobile home parks,” Roberts said. “That’s one of the charges in the Idaho code. But the key there is to protect private property rights. And I don’t know that this application does that for surrounding properties.”
A couple of commissioners pointed out that it could be affordable now, but later could be less so if rent increases take place.
“… Rent increases. I think that is a big concern,” Commissioner Katlin Caldwell said. “Right now, it may be affordable again, I’m not going to call it low-income housing, but it may be affordable right now, but in four years, it definitely could not be.”
It was also noted that manufactured homes very well could be a solution. However, Childs said this was just not the right application.
“I do think that we need to see more manufactured home applications. I don’t think this is the right location and I don’t think this is the right density,” Childs said. “I did a bit of research on manufactured home parks in the country. A lot of them are in industrial and commercial type areas to not impact property values in surrounding areas. So we have an affordable housing issue to address. I don’t think this is the right application for this location.”