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Large NW Boise apartment project gets the green light, but not without a red light

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Several hundred apartment units off of State Street got a thumbs up from the Boise Planning and Zoning Commission, but not without stipulations. 

​Matlock Village Apartments is a proposed 224-unit complex at 9474 W State Street, where State Street and Duncan Lane intersect. The project received a good deal of pushback from the ​​North West Neighborhood Association of Boise. However, the development was approved with several conditions, including extending Ulmer Lane and adding a streetlight at the Ulmer Lane and State Street intersection. 

The one to three-bedroom units would be spread across five apartment buildings ranging from three to four stories. The site would provide 302 parking spaces along with several amenities that include a pool and gym.

“The project meets the goals of the State Street corridor transit-oriented development policy guidelines which calls for an increase in transit-supportive density within the corridor and supports modifying current zoning to encourage higher density residential at the nodes with the diversity of housing types and prices,” city staff member Delanie Garlick said.

Neighborhood comments

Site plan for Matlock Village Aparments. Via CSHQA

NWNA President Richard Llewellyn came to the meeting to express the association’s concerns with the project, namely focusing on the “lack of adequate” infrastructure and transportation. Llewellyn cited traffic studies showing significant increases in traffic and a lack of signalized intersections nearby. 

“And that’s a problem,” he said about the traffic. “Really, what we have here… is a train wreck coming to these intersections, and we’re watching them in slow time and there’s nothing that seems like our neighborhood can do about it.”

A few neighbors near the proposed apartment complex came to the meeting to voice their thoughts as well. Many shared concerns surrounding increased traffic in the area and overcrowding. One neighbor talked specifically about the proposed zone change from single-family residential to multi-family residential.

“My understanding is that each development has required a change in zoning that is resulting in a transition of my neighborhood from a pleasant residential neighborhood to what is becoming an overcrowded and congested area characterized by high-density complexes, increased street parking, (and) increased commuter traffic,” neighbor Kris Mannion said in response to the rezone. 

Restrictions

Through conditions and applicant decisions, Ulmer Lane would be restricted to right-in and right-out, and there would be a dedicated left turn lane on State Highway 44 that will serve Duncan Lane. 

“Folks would rather we improve Duncan Lane and add a light there,” Stephanie Hopkins of KM Engineers said. “And that was actually our preference as well, it was our plan initially.”

The applicant is also proposing lengthening Ulmer Lane and adding a multimodal pathway on State Street that would span about 425 feet of the project’s frontage. 

“And as far as Ulmer Lane, our client is comfortable working with ACHD to determine what a proportionate share of the cost of that light would be. So that’s something obviously we would talk with ACHD commission to determine,” Hopkins said. “… That’s something that they would like to work with ACHD on to make sure that residents in the area feel that this is a benefit to their neighborhood.”

While the Ada County Highway District has the final say, the commission motioned that no building occupancy permit will be assigned without adding a signal at Ulmer Lane.

“If that isn’t a signalized intersection, it’s an undue burden on the transportation system,” Commissioner John Mooney said. “…I think we should condition this and say that, hey, this is what we want our city to look like, fix it and make the road safe so it’s not an undue burden on the transportation system.”

Autum Robertson - BoiseDev Reporter
Autum Robertson - BoiseDev Reporter
Autum Robertson is a BoiseDev reporter focused on Meridian and McCall. Contact her at [email protected].

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