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Central Foothills neighbors: Boise councilman has conflict of interest in Eyrie Terraces issue

Councilman Scot Ludwig on November 19 made a motion to postpone a decision on a 30-home development; complaint says he has done legal work for the property owner
Credit: City of Boise
Map showing site location for Eyrie Terraces, a proposed subdivision in Boise, Idaho, near the Hillside to Hollow Reserve.

BOISE, Idaho — The Central Foothills Neighborhood Association is asking the City of Boise to cancel a site visit and hearing scheduled for December 10 regarding the Eyrie Terraces subdivision, and investigate what the association believes to be a conflict of interest by Councilman Scot Ludwig.

If the project is approved, 22 acres of land would be subdivided into 30 lots for homes and four common lots off of North 36th Street, near Quail Hollow Golf Course.

The council on November 19 was set to consider an appeal regarding Eyrie Terraces, a project that the Boise Planning and Zoning Commission voted against in September.

Instead of taking testimony and deciding on the appeal that night, the council voted in favor of a motion made by Ludwig to have the council visit the site of the proposed 30-home development before deciding whether to grant or deny the appeal and preliminary plat application.

Council President Pro Tem Elaine Clegg and Council President Lauren McLean, also a Boise mayoral candidate, voted against Ludwig's motion. Clegg said she felt she had all the necessary information. McLean said she had concerns about considering information beyond what was on record from the Planning and Zoning decision.

In a news release dated November 26, the Central Foothills Neighborhood Association says that after the meeting ended, "a citizen informed Mr. Ludwig that the owner of the subject property of the applications is Kipp Bedard, whom we now know to be his client in an ongoing matter."

The association says that a conflict of interest relates to Ludwig serving as legal counsel to Bedard in a civil informal probate matter.

Credit: City of Boise
Boise City Councilman Scot Ludwig

The association calls the motion to conduct a site visit "highly irregular."

"We are not opposed to site visits," said Tim Breuer, a representative of the Central Foothills Neighborhood Association. "We just believe they need to happen at the right point in the process."

In a letter to Assistant City Attorney Robert Lockward, attorney Matthew Parks, representing the association, calls for Ludwig to disclose the full nature of his relationship with Bedard (without breaching attorney-client privilege), and clarify whether the relationship extends beyond the probate matter. It also calls for Ludwig's motion to visit the property to be declared void.

The letter also states that "the City Council is acting as an appellate body and cannot take additional evidence," and that the site visit should be canceled for due process concerns.

The association is requesting that Ludwig recuse himself from any further deliberations on the Eyrie Terraces project, that the site visit be canceled, and the public hearing set for December 10 be postponed "until after the holidays, so concerned residents can find the time to attend and participate in the City Council review process," Breuer said.

Ludwig's term on the Boise City Council ends at the end of this year. He did not seek re-election.

Mike Journee, director of communications for the Boise mayor's office, said on Wednesday in an email to KTVB that the next steps haven't been determined.

"We only received the letter Monday afternoon. We are trying to reach Councilmember Ludwig to see what his perspective is on the issue," Journee wrote. "Once we have that, we will assess the information, confer with legal counsel and Mayor and Council, and see what next steps are in order, if any."

The Boise City Council has not met since November 19, and is not scheduled to meet again until December 10, the date of the Eyrie Terraces site visit, set for 3:30 p.m., and public hearing, set for the 6:00 p.m. regular council meeting. .

The City Council's last regular meeting of 2019 is scheduled for noon on December 17.

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