Boise & Garden City

Boise council returns to 2,000-home Syringa Valley project

A map of the first phase of Syringa Valley, a 2,000-home project developers are planning in Southwest Boise.
A map of the first phase of Syringa Valley, a 2,000-home project developers are planning in Southwest Boise.

Boise City Council members and Mayor David Bieter spent more than an hour June 7 poring over details for a project that would transform Southwest Boise with thousands of homes, a school, a commercial corridor and new streets.

CBH Homes is asking the city to approve a specific plan for the development it hopes to build on 600 acres southwest of the Boise Airport. If approved, the project likely would take two decades to build. CBH recently bought the land and project from Michael Coughlin, who started the Syringa Valley process last year.

Traffic is one of the chief concerns about the CBH proposal. From transportation experts to commuters who drive Cole, Lake Hazel and other roads near the proposed development, there's a wide swath of people who worry hundreds of new homes will swamp the existing network, and that proposed new roads won't do enough to relieve that congestion.

During their June 7 meeting, council members asked a lot of questions about whether it would be safe for people to move back and forth between homes, the commercial area and the proposed school. Some wonder if there will be enough businesses to keep Syringa Valley residents from having to drive to the Cole-Overland area for basic shopping items.

Other concerns that have come up include Syringa Valley's potential impact to water availability in the immediate area and the effect of airport noise on the new homes.

The council scheduled workshops, which are somewhat informal sessions designed to help city officials understand details of complex topics, after they determined at a March 29 meeting that Syringa Valley was big enough to warrant deeper consideration than a single public hearing. The second — and, possibly, not final — workshop is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.

That meeting will start at 3:30 p.m. in the council's third-floor chambers at City Hall, 150 N. Capitol Blvd.

If CBH pursues the project, it will need formal City Council approval through a public hearing and vote. It's unclear when the public hearing would take place.