Boise & Garden City

Update: Boise approves 400-plus homes near Micron, with conditions

Boise developer Jim Conger’s original plan for Rush Valley, in the rectangles marked in red, would have provided only one street connection to Columbia Road at the top of this aerial photo: an extension of Snow Bird Avenue through the existing subdivision at the upper right. His latest proposal would use a future extension of Oregon Ridge Avenue, west of Snow Bird, as a second access road.
Boise developer Jim Conger’s original plan for Rush Valley, in the rectangles marked in red, would have provided only one street connection to Columbia Road at the top of this aerial photo: an extension of Snow Bird Avenue through the existing subdivision at the upper right. His latest proposal would use a future extension of Oregon Ridge Avenue, west of Snow Bird, as a second access road.

On Tuesday, the Boise City Council approved developer Jim Conger's 410-home Rush Valley project.

In addition to phasing requirements laid out in Conger's development agreement, the council tacked on a condition that requires Conger to provide road connections between the western side of his project and Columbia Road before finishing that group of homes. Conger's development agreement calls for the western side to be built last.

The city's new condition requires Conger to work with Ada County Highway District, which controls public roads, to determine the appropriate time to build the western connections based on traffic volume. In all likelihood, though, those connections will be complete before Conger builds the western homes, city planner Todd Tucker said.

The story below was published April 3, 2018 under the headline: "Developer again asks Boise City Council to authorize 400-plus homes near Micron."

A 410-home development east of Micron Technology Inc. will come before the Boise City Council on Tuesday for final approval.

In re-designing his Rush Valley project, developer Jim Conger reworked its layout and transportation network. That effort removed 20 homes from the project. Instead of 430 homes, then, it would have 410 once it’s complete. That could take a decade or more.

Last year and this, the project has gone through a prolonged back-and-forth at City Hall, with the council delaying, denying, later reconsidering, and then referring it to the Planning and Zoning Commission. On Feb. 12, the Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval.

Projects like Rush Valley and the adjoining, partly built Sunny Ridge subdivision have pushed Boise leaders to advocate for a master plan that would guide development of the Columbia Bench, the area roughly bordered by Interstate 84 on the west, Gowen Road on the north, the cliffs above the Boise River on the east, and a straight line stretching east from I-84’s Eisenman Road-Memory Road interchange on the south. Most of the land is outside city limits but inside Boise’s area of impact, meaning its annexation is expected.

The story below was published Jan. 26 under the headline, "Developer bows to Boise's request, revises 430-house project near Micron."

After months of back-and-forth, Boise developer Jim Conger is bringing his 430-home Rush Valley project back to Boise for another run at approval.

Conger is offering to build two roads to address the main concern City Council members cited last year in rejecting Rush Valley, which would occupy 110 acres south of Columbia Road about two miles east of Micron Technology’s headquarters.

Boise Fire Department officials warned that building too many homes without multiple ways in and out of Rush Valley would endanger people who live there. Snow Bird Avenue is the only existing connection between the Rush Valley property and Columbia Road. Snow Bird runs north-south through the center of Sunny Ridge, a partly built subdivision between Rush Valley and Columbia Road.

Conger could build no more than 30 homes before providing the second connection to Columbia, according to a proposed development agreement he filed with the city Friday. That second road likely would connect to an extended Oregon Ridge Avenue running the length of Sunny Ridge’s west side, city of Boise planner Todd Tucker said. Oregon Ridge now extends only partway down the west side.

The developer then would able to build as many as 40 more homes, for a total of 70.

Finally, Conger would have to build another road — reserved for emergency vehicles — from Rush Valley north to Gowen Road before he could build the remaining 360 homes.

During a handful of hearings last year, Conger’s team and City Council members discussed phasing the project much as the developer is proposing now. Several council members said they wanted Conger to put the access roads into a proposed development agreement — a contract between the city and developer that details what the developer is entitled to build. Zoning the property for residential development without such a contract would cost the city control over how many homes Conger could build without enhancing access.

The council voted in December to send Rush Valley back to Boise’s Planning and Zoning Commission, with the requirement that Conger come back with the agreement. Planning and Zoning is scheduled to hear the new proposal Monday, Feb. 12.

Tucker said completion of the project could take a decade or more.

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