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Avimor annexation decision pushed to second Planning & Zoning meeting

There’s a long road ahead before Eagle will decide if it’s annexing Avimor into city limits or not. 

On Tuesday night, a crowd of roughly 200 people packed into Eagle’s city council chambers and into overflow rooms down the hall to see the Planning & Zoning Commission take up Avimor’s long-anticipated application. The foothills planned community only has about 800 homes now, but at full build out its anticipated to have 8,761 homes and 860,000 square feet of commercial space over 17,000 acres. 

Annexation would bring the bulk of Avimor’s residents into the city limits of Eagle, making them property taxpayers and recipients of city services. The decision of whether or not to annex the planned community would have implications on Eagle for decades by adding thousands of new residents and adding to the city’s bills. And as annexation proponents argue, it would also give Eagle more say over what is growing in the hills above the small suburb and preserve large swaths of foothills land for public use. 

Tuesday’s four-hour hearing barely scratched the surface of the issue. The first three and a half hours of the hearing were solely devoted to presentations from Avimor’s attorneys and city planners and only a small handful of the attendees got to speak during the public hearing portion. 

P&Z will take up the rest of the testimony and deliberate on the application again on January 30. Once commissioners make a decision, it will go to the Eagle City Council for more hearings and a final vote later this year. 

Heavy opposition shows early 

Only a small segment of the crowd got to speak this week, but opposition to the idea dominated all of their testimony. 

The possibility of annexing Avimor has been divisive in Eagle for over four years now as the developers planned to submit their application, held neighborhood meetings and two different economic impact studies reviewed the proposal. And throughout the process, many residents spoke up on social media and in news stories sharing their opposition to the idea of the annexation. 

KTVB reported over 100 people signed in to Tuesday’s hearing and marked they were in opposition to the proposal. 

Those testifying against the project at the tail end of the meeting shared this sentiment, arguing that annexing Avimor would bring more traffic and harm the small-town feel of Eagle its residents enjoy so much. One 23-year-old resident described the foothills as a “sacred place” to him and many others and said annexing Avimor would harm the quality of life in the area for future Idahoans. 

SOS Eagle, an activist group with members affiliated with the failed attempt to recall Mayor Jason Pierce and the entire Eagle City Council, also had one of its members present the results of a survey about the annexation of Avimor. The results, which the group says were collected by SurveyMoney and shared with residents on their website, various social media sites and through word of mouth, found over 90% of the 1,500 respondents opposed annexation. 

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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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