The Boise Planning and Zoning Commission voted unanimously last week to deny JKB Construction’s proposal to build a 125-home development just west of Harris Ranch in Boise’s East End.
The next day, JKB appealed that decision to the City Council, which is expected to settle the matter Aug. 29.
City of Boise planning staff recommended the city deny JKB’s application, which calls for 13 single-family houses, 11 live-work units, eight townhomes and more than 90 apartments between Warm Springs Avenue and ParkCenter Boulevard. The project is called Barber Hill Vistas.
Celine Acord, who’s handling the project for city staff, said Monday that she and her team have concerns about a lack of open space on the interior of the 8.65-acre proposal.
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The project is outside the boundaries of Harris Ranch, a 1,100-acre mixed-use community, the design of which is prescribed in a decade-old plan. But the city’s comprehensive plan encourages Harris Ranch-style design elements for projects near it, Acord said. That means de-emphasizing paved spaces such as parking lots and including paths and other pedestrian-friendly amenities.
The JKB proposal, a modification of an earlier proposal that city staff also criticized, includes a plan for a pedestrian path around the exterior of the property. But Acord said city staff would like to see pedestrian-friendly infrastructure added to the interior of the project.
Planners also suspect the southwest corner of the lot would be better left as open space. JKB proposes the construction of four buildings and 44 apartments in that area.
The project has met heavy resistance from East End neighbors worried that the density of the JKB proposal doesn’t fit the surrounding area. Neighbors also worry about traffic from the project, which Ada County Highway District predicts will lead to an additional 821 car trips per day, on average.
If the project is built to the current plan, JKB would demolish the house that stands on the property now, Acord said.