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Viewpoint: How Ada County is trying to plan and coordinate expected growth

Growth comes with challenges and opportunities in housing, transportation and employment.

BOISE, Idaho — Whether you like it or not, the Treasure Valley is growing very fast.

So, Ada County leaders want people who live in the county to weigh in on how to deal with that growth and how to take advantage of it.  

According to the Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho (COMPASS), the population of Ada County was about 400,000 in 2010.

By 2040, COMPASS estimates it will be just under 700,000.  

Growth comes with challenges and opportunities in housing, transportation and employment.    

Ada County commissioners are planning now for that more crowded future.  

"We believe first and foremost that this is a special place. We have wide-open spaces. We have a beautiful river that runs through many of our communities. We have a strong sense of community and this is a safe place.  We want to preserve and protect that quality of life, but we also want to be fiscally responsible, and how we grow can dramatically impact our property tax dollars. So it's critical for us to work together to ensure that we can protect that quality of life while being fiscally responsible as we grow," Ada County Commissioner Diana Lachiondo said.

RELATED: Here's what the Treasure Valley can learn about light rails from Portland and Salt Lake City

On Thursday, October 16, Ada County commissioners are hosting what they call a coordinated growth conversation.

It's from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Expo Idaho.

They say it's an opportunity for you to learn and ask questions and to be a part of the policy-making discussions.

In this week's Viewpoint, KTVB looks at the challenges and opportunities that come with growth, and look more deeply at how the commissioners want the public to be involved with the planning process in Ada County.  

Plus, Boise State Chair of Public Affairs Steven Feldstein discusses "Democracy in an Age of Anxiety: Russian Intrusion, Chinese Confrontation, Populist Disruption," which is the theme of the annual Frank Church Institute conference coming up at Boise State featuring former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul.  

RELATED: Is the Treasure Valley ready for the massive population growth expected by 2040?

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