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Large lots planned for homes near Hidden Springs. What about the farm land?

The two vertical green swaths on the left side of this photo are small valleys that are used as farmland. The land recently sold to a man who plans to subdivide the property to allow the construction of 13 new homes but preserve the farmland.
The two vertical green swaths on the left side of this photo are small valleys that are used as farmland. The land recently sold to a man who plans to subdivide the property to allow the construction of 13 new homes but preserve the farmland.

Jim Coles said he’ll preserve farmland in two small valleys just west of Hidden Springs by clustering lots for new homes on knolls or ridges that cannot be farmed.

Coles recently bought 161 acres west of Seamans Gulch Road and south of Dry Creek Road. He plans to subdivide the land into lots for 13 new homes to accompany an existing home he’s remodeling.

On paper, each home would have about 10 acres of ground assigned to it, he said. But the subdivision’s configuration wouldn’t place each house in the middle of 10 acres. Instead, at least some of the houses would be built fairly close to each other, leaving broad swaths of open land — especially those farmed valleys — intact.

Development — or preservation — of farmland just outside Boise has popped up as a divisive issue over the past year. A group of Boise residents is circulating a petition to stop a proposal to build 1,800 homes on almost 1,000 acres west of Coles’ land and east of Idaho 55. The loss of prime agricultural land is one of the main objections the group has raised.

Coles said he won’t build the houses. He’ll sell the lots for people to build their own homes, he said.

Coles expects to submit an application to Ada County to subdivide the land within the next couple months.

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