A concern for public safety was the main reason Boise City Councilwoman Maryanne Jordan said she voted to reject developer Jim Conger’s application to annex 110 acres east of Boise into the city so that he could build 430 homes there.
If built as Conger proposed, the Rush Valley subdivision would have had one road into and out of it: Columbia Road. The Boise Fire Department worried that, without at least one more access point, disaster could occur if Columbia Road were blocked at the same time a fire or other emergency occurred in the housing development. The department wanted Conger to add sprinkler systems in Rush Valley, but Conger’s team balked at that. Sprinkler systems add significant cost to housing projects.
Jordan joined councilwomen Lauren McLean and Elaine Clegg in voting to deny Conger’s application. Councilmen Scot Ludwig and Ben Quintana voted against rejecting the application. They said they’d be open to allowing Conger to build a fraction of his project before requiring secondary access.
Traffic was another consideration, Jordan said. The number of cars traveling on Columbia Road is already at or near what’s considered reasonable capacity. Jordan pointed out that the city often approves projects in areas where traffic is in similar condition, but those projects have other roads accessing them that can absorb traffic from the new development.
Conger offered no plans to provide additional access to Rush Valley.