Boise & Garden City

Ada County approves housing development near Hidden Springs

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.

Ada County Commissioner Jim Tibbs acknowledged concerns that building more than 1,800 homes between Hidden Springs and Shadow Valley Golf Course will result in the loss of several feet of prime growing soil on the 1,400 acres where those homes would be built.

Dozens of people who opposed the development also worried about traffic, the loss of an agricultural icon and effects on wildlife. But private property rights outweighed those concerns for Tibbs, who made a motion Tuesday to approve developer Boise Hunter Homes’ plan to develop the Dry Creek Ranch area. Tibbs was the only commissioner — out of three — who discussed his reasons for voting to approve the application. The other two, Rick Visser and chairman Dave Case, voted with Tibbs without discussion.

Commissioners said they discussed the matter or received constituent emails on it between the end of a several-hour public hearing Wednesday and Tuesday morning. Case told his fellow commissioners they couldn’t take those comments into consideration because the public hearing ended last week.

Original plans for the Dry Creek community were filed in 2006 and approved in 2010. They called for 3,500 homes. Boise Hunter Homes scaled that back, saying the area is inappropriate for the more-dense project. If the development moves forward as planned, it would be complete in 2032, according to documents on file with Ada County.

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