BOISE -- Around 150 people packed the Boise City Council chambers for Tuesday night's regular meeting.Most people in attendance were there to testify about a proposed subdivision that would go next to the Idaho Shakespeare Festival.
The Planning and Zoning Commission earlier denied certain permits the developers and land owners would need to go ahead. The city council heard arguments on actions, most importantly annexation, that could allow them to reverse some of those decisions and move the project ahead.
Barber Mill Estates is the planned development, which would included 43 homes. Those looking to move the project ahead say the project fits into the city's initial plan to make the area a residential part of Boise's east end. Representatives of the project said at Tuesday's meeting that they would be willing to work with neighbors to develop rules for homeowners for concerns like noise.
Those on the side of the Shakespeare Festival have voiced a number of concerns, most notably, noise concerns. On one hand, the organization says noise from nearby homes would detract from and interrupt the performances.On the other hand, the organization has concerns its noise during its summer performances would cause noise violations for homeowners if there were houses next door.
Dozens of people signed up to testify, and most stood in opposition of the development. The mayor and city council members asked questions throughout testimony. The mayor started the discussion by saying it shouldn't be a debate over whether people like Shakespeare (the writer or the festival), but it should be a look at the exact permits and actions being requested.
The meeting lasted for seven hours, ending at 1 a.m. The city council voted unanimously to annex the property, but with a zone that will not allow development at this time.
The Boise City Council this evening voted unanimously to approve the annexation of the Barber Mill Estates subdivision. However, the council denied the requested R1B zoning and instead zoned the property A2, which is a holding zone designation that does not allow development. The applicant was directed to participate in mediation with area stakeholders, with the first session funded by the City of Boise. Following mediation, if the developer wishes to proceed, he will be required to file a new application package including redesign and a rezone to the City Council.
To see more about this proposed project and city staff recommendations, click here to see the report council members reviewed for the meeting.