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Eagle City Council votes to annex Avimor development

City councilmembers voted 3-1 in favor of annexation, saying annexing the development gives the city more control over what happens in the nearby foothills.

EAGLE, Idaho — After years of controversy, Eagle City Council voted to annex the planned development "Avimor" 3-1 during a special meeting on Thursday. 

This was city council's third meeting about the issue, after hearing more than six hours of public testimony. Most of the testimonies were against annexation

Community member Frankie Edgar said she's disappointed with city council's decision. 

"We were all hoping that they would take into consideration what they people of Eagle wanted, and it seems they had already made up their minds before," she said. 

Edgar believes Avimor should be its own city, and worries annexing will strain Eagle taxpayers and services. She isn't alone; much of the public testimony echoed similar sentiments. 

Councilmember Brad Pike, who voted no, also worried about the impact on Eagle's services. He brought up 21 other developments already approved to be built in Eagle. 

"I'm just a little concerned with the rapidness of the responsibility of service levels in the city," he said. 

Pike shared a similar belief to Eagle's Planning and Zoning Commission, who recommended against annexation back in January. Pike said he wasn't against annexation altogether, just didn't believe now was the right time. 

On the flip side, Avimor managing partner Dan Richter said he was pleased with the decision and grateful to the city council for its time and consideration.

"This is obviously exciting for Avimor and for the way we want to grow and develop the foothills responsibly," Richter said in a statement. "But we believe this is also good news for the City of Eagle and its residents, and we look forward to becoming a strong partner and trusted neighbor in the future." 

Councilmembers, Helen Russell, Charlie Baun and Melissa Gindlesperger all voted in favor of annexation. They believe annexing Avimor gives Eagle more control over what happens to dozens of miles of land in the foothills north of the city.

Councilmembers also commended Avimor's commitment to preserving 50% of the land as open space. Several people, including Mayor Jason Pierce, said Avimor will continue growing regardless, and that it's in Eagle's best interest to be in charge. 

While Pierce didn't vote, he commended how councilmembers made their decision. Pierce said he understands the concerns, but believes Eagle is well-prepared to handle annexation since they've already annexed other large developments. 

"This is scary," he said. "This is a big project, the largest piece of property annexed in the state of Idaho has now come into the City of Eagle, but we're probably the only ones that can handle it." 

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