Outdoors Blog

Ben’s Crow Inn plans to remove protest fence along Greenbelt

This was the path from the Greenbelt to Ben’s Crow Inn last weekend.
This was the path from the Greenbelt to Ben’s Crow Inn last weekend. ccripe@idahostatesman.com

Greenbelt users and Ben’s Crow Inn patrons were perplexed last weekend by a fence constructed along the restaurant’s Greenbelt-front property.

Some folks jumped or climbed the fence, which blocked a traditional access point to the Greenbelt for nearby residents and Greenbelt access to the restaurant that plans to close later this year.

A small opening was left between the fence and a tree for patrons to squeeze through. When I arrived Sunday, someone pointed out the gap — and then said she wished she had known that before going over the fence. A bunch of bikes were parked there.

But the city of Boise says the fence will be removed soon. It was erected in protest of the Barber Valley Neighborhood Association’s decision to fight plans to develop homes on the property when the restaurant owners retire (the proposed development failed to pass Planning & Zoning). The 70-year-old restaurant is expected to stay open until September.

Developer Jim Conger didn’t return a phone message.

Boise Planning Director Hal Simmons explained the situation:

“We have spoken with the applicant for the property and it appears the fence will be removed shortly,” Simmons said via email. “Apparently the owner of Crow Inn, who is attempting to retire by selling his property, was very disheartened by public comments at the meeting to the effect that people would rather it sit vacant and unsold than be developed. He fenced it out of frustration with the treatment he received but has been convinced by the developer to remove the fence.”

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