Boise & Garden City

‘We’ll be back,’ developer says after Boise denies 125-home Warm Springs project

The Boise City Council denied developer J. Kevin Brunk's proposal to build more than 100 apartments and 20 single-family homes on Harris Ranch's western edge.
The Boise City Council denied developer J. Kevin Brunk's proposal to build more than 100 apartments and 20 single-family homes on Harris Ranch's western edge.

Developer J. Kevin Brunk didn’t sound too discouraged after the Boise City Council unanimously denied his plan for a 125-unit housing project on the western border of the Harris Ranch neighborhood.

Brunk said he would go back over the proposal with the city’s planning staff in hopes of finding changes that will make the project acceptable to planners and the council.

He said that they’ll “probably tweak it more than a little” but that he didn’t know what kind of changes he ultimately would propose.

“But we’ll be back,” Brunk said.

The plan presented to the council Tuesday called for 103 apartments and 21 single-family homes on an 8.65-acre parcel located at 3555 E. Warm Springs Ave. in East Boise.

City planners believed it didn’t include enough open space on the interior of the lot, specifically on its southwest corner, where Brunk’s team wanted to put up several buildings and dozens of apartments. Planners also wanted to see more walkways or other pedestrian-friendly infrastructure inside the development.

The Planning and Zoning Commission recommended denial of the project in June. Brunk’s team appealed that decision to the City Council.

Dozens of neighbors spoke at Tuesday night’s hearing, and almost all of them opposed the project. Many predicted a traffic disaster if the project were built as proposed. Some worried about decreasing property values, especially for the homes closest to the development.

Council members said design, not density, was the reason they objected to the project. Councilwoman Maryanne Jordan said a high-density project might work in that location if it met the guidelines for the nearby Harris Ranch and Barber Valley neighborhoods. Though the lot in question lies outside either of those neighborhoods, Boise law requires similar design standards, such as de-emphasized parking areas and front-oriented buildings.

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