Guest Opinions

Ada County calls quits on ‘long-running feud’ with city of Boise

Ada County Courthouse.
Ada County Courthouse.

According to the July 9 Idaho Statesman article, Ada County and Boise City are in a “long-running feud” over how Boise can defend itself from traffic stemming from planned communities. This is the first time this Ada County Board of Commissioners has heard of such a feud, and we want to officially withdraw from it.

There is not one civic problem that can be solved without cities and counties working together, and certainly traffic falls into that category. Besides that, it wouldn’t be a fair fight.

The article says that the city believes it is some type of mystery as to where a planned community might pop up. This is very perplexing, since Hidden Springs has been approved since 1997, Avimor 2006, Cartwright Ranch 2008 and Dry Creek Ranch since 2010. Furthermore, the existing Planned Community Ordinance requires a three-year planning and plat-submittal process before construction would commence — not very mysterious.

The city also states that it is still overwhelmed by the amount of traffic being generated by these four planned communities (which represent the totality of planned communities approved within Ada County, however, by previous boards). From 2000 through 2017, the four Ada County planned communities have added 1,190 total vehicle trips at peak hours, while Boise, Meridian and Eagle have added 38,685 vehicle trips at peak hours.

Furthermore, the existing Ada County comprehensive plan, Ada County 2025, which was adopted by two members of the existing board (myself and Chairman Dave Case), has several policies that encourage growth to occur within city jurisdictions. Specifically, Goal 2.2 says to “direct urban development to incorporated cities, Area of City Impact’s (ACI), and Planned Communities where investments in urban services have already been made or are planned and programmed in a Capital Improvement Program (CIP) or work program.” And 2.2a reads: “Support the land-use and development policies expressed in (cities’) adopted comprehensive plans.”

This policy more accurately reflects the position of the current county commissioners. We are not in a growth game with the cities and we are not in a feud. We want to work together to solve problems and follow the law.

Jim Tibbs has been an Ada County commissioner since January 2013.