BOISE -- A conflict between the Shakespeare Festival, landowners, a developer and home-owners has come to a resolution that seems to be good for everybody.
David and Ann Triplett were the owners of about 12 acres next door to the Idaho Shakespeare Festival. They wanted to turn it into Barber Mills, a 43-home development.
However, there were worries from neighbors and the Shakespeare Festival about the added noise, and that the future residents of Barber Mill Estates might complain about the Shakespeare Festival's noise, and possibly force the Festival to move.
John Sims is the Festival's President. We were very worried about having houses next door to us that could interrupt the performance, or that we would drive crazy. And, they were worried about being able to do what people want to do with their own land. And, we completely get that.
David and Ann Triplett are actually long-time donors to the Festival. Ann said, They were our friends.
But, by way of petitions, heated city council meetings, and more, there was plenty of conflict between the Tripletts and the Festival.
They looked us in the eye, and said there wasn't a problem, and they wouldn't stand in the way, said Ann. But then, there were the petitions, and the police showed up at our house and told us we couldn't go on our property, and there were so many things that happened. It's just sad.
Then Friday, it was announced that it was all resolved. The Idaho Foundation for Parks and Lands had stepped in as a third party and peacemaker, acquired the property, and will add it to the 400 acres of the Barber Pool Conservation Area they already own. The Tripletts, the Shakespeare Festival, neighbors and everyone else seems really happy.
When both sides have shown their obstinacy and resistance to things, deals can happen, said Sims. And, I think we were always very hopeful. Our relationship with the Tripletts over the years has been terrific. We really want to get along with everybody.
The Director of the Foundation, Larry Leasure, says a lot of thanks go to the Developer Jim Conger and the Tripletts, who are being paid some, but are really making a donation with this land. The Tripletts, the owners of the property, definitely made a major contribution. In addition to that, the developers did also, in giving up all their future profits in the development of the site, in making it available that we could work something together to go forward.
Boise Mayor Dave Bieter talked about the importance of the Festival. On behalf of everyone in the city, I can't tell you how pleased we are... It is fairly common for us to celebrate a new development, like the 8th and Main project that we were fortunate enough to have a celebration and party for. But on occasion, we celebrate NOT developing something.
Nancy Merrill, the Director of the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation talked about the importance of public lands. This is what you look at as truly a win for everyone. It's one of those things I like to say, 'If you get the right people in the right place at the right time, good things can happen.' And, they certainly have happened here.
While the land is acquired, it isn't completely paid for, yet. So, the Foundation now starts the fundraising effort to gain more than one million dollars to finish the purchase and turn the land into something usable for the public.