Neighbors keep fighting Boise subdivision. Here’s what the City Council just decided

The Boise City Council on Tuesday asked the developer of the planned Prominence subdivision in Northwest Boise to meet with neighbors who oppose the project and try to work out a plan agreeable to both sides.

The council had been scheduled to rule on an appeal filed by the developer after the Planning and Zoning Commission voted in May to recommend denial of the project. Trilogy Development, owned by Boise businessman John A. Laude Sr., wants to build 156 single-family homes and 130 multifamily units on 38 acres north of State Street at Bogart Lane.

The council voted 4-1 to direct Trilogy and neighbors to spend the next 60 days talking and see if they can come up with a workable plan. Council President Lauren McLean, who had suggested that the council deny the appeal and ask Trilogy to come back with a new application, voted against the motion.

“Following the direction of the City Council, we will work with the neighbors and address the items that were outlined by the council members,” land use consultant Jane Suggs of WH Pacific said after the meeting on behalf of Trilogy.

Council Pro Tem Elaine Clegg asked both sides to look for a solution rather than use the 60 days as a delaying tactic.

“We certainly can’t require people to cooperate,” Clegg said. “But if this is going to work, it’s going to require some deep cooperation.”

Tuesday’s discussion was a continuation of a lengthy hearing on Tuesday, July 16. That night, a large number of neighbors raised concerns about what the development would mean for the rural character of the neighborhood on the city’s northwestern corner.

People who testified at the earlier hearing said they were concerned about fire coverage, increased traffic and the impact on a local elementary school. They urged the council to reject the subdivision, located in an area annexed into the city five years ago.

Council member Holli Woodings said the city is growing and there’s added density in parts of town where that wasn’t the case in the past. No neighborhood is immune from that.

She said she hopes a solution can be found, because “going back to the drawing board is a lot of work,” she said.

“There will be development here,” Woodings said.

Mayor David Bieter said it could be possible to have some open space made part of the development.

There were concerns the design of the houses didn’t fit the neighborhood. There were also questions about an apartment building that McLean said was far from public transportation. Woodings noted that many other apartment buildings in town are not on the bus route, while Clegg said it’s possible ValleyRide would extend service to that area with a larger population base.

McLean is challenging Bieter in November’s mayoral race. Last year, as the fight over Prominence heated up, Bieter told a town hall audience, “To those of you in the northwest and in other parts of town, you don’t live in the country. I mean that sincerely. We’re in the city. You might have gotten used to a little more rural kind of (life). It’s just not that way.”

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