Dozens of neighbors of the Highlands Cove project left City Hall late Tuesday night disappointed and, in some cases, visibly angry.
Many left in obvious disgust before the Council voted to approve the project.
After a nearly five-hour public hearing, Boise City Council members found that the city's Planning and Zoning Commission erred in September when it denied Highlands Cove, a 60-home subdivision developers Chris Conner and Dave Yorgason plan to build on a 54-acre tract surrounding the Crane Creek Golf Course.
"From a legal standpoint, I believe (the Planning and Zoning decision) was full of errors," council President Maryanne Jordan said.
Those errors included not issuing a list of findings for the denial and not giving the developers any guidance as to what steps they might take to obtain approval.
Traffic was the biggest concern for people who live near the proposed subdivision. The existing neighborhood's roads, which have no sidewalks, are already too narrow for comfortable passage of two cars, the neighbors said. If the city allows Conner and Yorgason to add dozens of homes to the area, they said, those streets will become intolerably dangerous.
Councilwoman Elaine Clegg added a condition to the project's approval that requires a plan to reduce traffic impacts on the area’s existing and future streets before the project receives final plat approval from the city.
Representatives of Yorgason and Conner said the neighbors are opposing the project because they're used to the project land being undeveloped open space and they want to keep it that way. Taken to its logical conclusion, the representatives said, the Planning and Zoning Commission's reasoning would allow no development there whatsoever.
Yorgason said after the meeting that he plans to start building infrastructure such as streets and utility lines in the spring. He hopes to start building homes in the fall.