Should Highlands Elementary be razed to make way for a new school building?
A former race-car driver and great-grandson of Joe and Kathryn Albertson proposes to build a dozen luxury townhouses and five houses on the site of a former church on Bogus Basin Road.
Brian Scott wants to build the Highland Heights Subdivision at 3600 N. Bogus Basin Road on the grounds of the former All Saints Presbyterian Church, at the northeast corner of Bogus and West Curling Drive, across Curling from Highlands Elementary School.
The proposal was approved by the Boise Planning and Zoning Commission with some conditions.
Scott was a NASCAR driver from 2007 until he retired in 2016 at age 28, though he came out of retirement briefly in 2017. He and his wife live near the site, which has been unoccupied since the congregation relocated to Locust Grove Road and Chinden Boulevard a year ago.
Scott told the Statesman that this is his first venture into real estate development, though not the first for Alscott Inc., an investment company that is handling the project. Alscott was established in 1976 by Joe Albertson and two cofounders, including Joseph B. Scott, Brian’s father. Brian Scott is now an Alscott director.
“I am developing this project because I live in the neighborhood and drive by the property every day when I do things like take my kids to school,” Scott said in an email. “Having grown up with the Boise Foothills as my backyard, I feel a connection to wanting to do what’s best given the current state of the property.”
The church was torn down last week.
The 12 townhouses would be in six duplexes, three facing Bogus Basin Road and three facing Curling. They would feature modern-prairie architecture, with strong horizontal lines and hipped roofs with broad eaves.
The five houses would be above and behind them. A private road from Bogus Basin Road would provide access. A golf-cart and pedestrian path from the back of the development would lead to the Crane Creek Country Club.
“I think this a great development,” said Jennifer Stevens, cochair of the P&Z Commisssion, at a hearing Feb. 4. “The land here is under utilized. ... It doesn’t help much with affordable housing, but of course that is not the intent.”
Scott said he envisions the homes “being harmonious from a quality and pricing standpoint with other housing developments that surround it.”
The Highlands neighborhood sits between Camel’s Back Park to the east and south and the Hillside to Hollow Reserve to the west. In between are Bogus Basin Road and Crane Creek. Ten Highlands homes were listed for sale Monday on Zillow, with asking prices from $669,900 to $1.125 million each. Four condos were listed too, ranging from $199,900 to $750,000.
Tom Seacord, a representative of the Highlands Neighborhood Association, voiced concerns at the hearing about added car traffic on already busy Bogus Basin Road. But Chairman Milt Gillespie said the Ada County Highway District reported that traffic would still be acceptable.
Despite its support, the P&Z Commission gave Scott one headache: It insisted on sidewalks on both sides of the private drive. Jason Densmer, an engineer for The Land Group, the Boise firm designing the project, said the road would carry so little traffic, with vehicles driving so slowly, that sidewalks would do little to help pedestrians and would increase runoff.
The site is already zoned residential, but subdividing it will require City Council approval.
As a stock car racer, Brian Scott took part in NASCAR’s Camping World Truck, Xfinity and Sprint Cup series. He was sponsored by Albertsons. His family also owns Shore Lodge in McCall.