Boise & Garden City

Developer scales back 1,800-home West Foothills project, up for vote Wednesday

One of the Dry Creek Ranch Planned Community’s village centers would share recreational facilities with an elementary school, the land for which would be donated to the West Ada School District.
One of the Dry Creek Ranch Planned Community’s village centers would share recreational facilities with an elementary school, the land for which would be donated to the West Ada School District.

Developer Boise Hunter Homes is proposing a nearly 50 percent reduction in the total number of homes and a steep cut in commercial space to be built in the Dry Creek Ranch Planned Community.

Original plans for the planned community, submitted in September 2006 and approved 3 1/2 years later, called for a total of 3,500 homes and 650,000 square feet of commercial space between Hidden Springs and the Shadow Valley Golf Course.

Boise Hunter Homes is now asking Ada County to authorize 1,815 homes on varying lot sizes. Some 1,126 of those homes would be single-family houses. The homes on the southern part of the development generally would be on smaller lots or in multi-family buildings, according to the developer’s application.

“Trails and rural road sections will make these properties attractive to those seeking a self-sufficient lifestyle, providing room for larger gardens, orchards and pastures,” the application reads.

The new plan also would reduce the quantity of commercial space to 85,000 square feet. The development as proposed would take up about 986 of the ranch’s 1,414 acres, according to the developer’s application. The rest would be left as open space.

If approved, it would be built in several neighborhood phases with a design “for honoring this site’s agriculture heritage,” according to an Ada County planning staff report. The project would include “village centers,” one of which would share recreational facilities with an elementary school, the land for which would be donated to the West Ada School District.

Nevertheless, people who live nearby worry the development would forever diminish the historical legacy of Dry Creek and other agricultural institutions in the surrounding area, including the Jeker family farm, located off Dry Creek Road.

Neighbors also worry that Boise Hunter Homes won’t do enough to protect wildlife, though Idaho Fish and Game is satisfied with the developer’s plan, according to the county’s staff report.

Staffers and the Ada County Planning and Zoning Commission are recommending approval of Boise Hunter Homes’ application.

County commissioners are scheduled to consider the application Wednesday. Their meeting is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. in the public hearing room on the first floor of the Ada County Courthouse, located at 200 W. Front St., in Boise.

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