Foundation raising money to buy land next to ISF venue

sberg@idahostatesman.comMarch 7, 2014 

Idaho Shakespeare Festival Managing Director Mark Hofflund stands on the berm that separates the festival grounds from a 12-acre site that’s home to three sewage lagoons.


It'll take more than $1 million to buy 12 acres just west of the Idaho Shakespeare Festival's amphitheater in Boise's East End, clean up two inactive sewage lagoons on the property, and compensate developer Jim Conger for the time and money he put into plans for a 43-home housing development on the land.

Idaho Foundation for Parks and Lands leaders officially announced the purchase of the 12 acres Friday afternoon.

The sale wraps up a dispute over the property that has lasted more than a year. In January, Conger's housing proposal ran aground when the Boise City Council approved his request to annex the property into city limits but rejected his plan for a housing complex on it. 

For months, supporters of the Shakespeare Festival loudly opposed Conger's plan, worried that noise from the homes would detract from performances in the amphitheater, and that people living in the homes would someday complain about noise from the performances and try to stop them. 

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