EAGLE, Idaho — The City of Eagle might get a lot bigger – it all depends on whether the city decides to annex Avimor and expand city limits to include 18,000 acres of the development.
During Tuesday's Planning and Zoning meeting, Avimor's lawyer shared their annexation proposal. It was the first public hearing for the development.
Developers and city staff spent the first 3.5 hours reviewing the proposal and fielding the commissioners' questions.
More than 130 people were present during the meeting – many signing up to testify publicly for or against the possible annexation. Each person had 3 minutes to share.
Avimor is in unincorporated Ada County, nestled in the foothills north of Eagle. Currently, the City of Eagle is about 20,000 acres. Annexing 18,000 acres of the development would almost double the city's size.
Currently, developers say there are about 800 homes already built, but construction won't finish until about 2060.
Annexing Avimor would add nearly 9,000 homes to the Eagle and 860,000 square feet of commercial space. Developers say about 50% of the land will be protected as natural, open space.
Avimor was first proposed in the early 2000s. An analysis shows that if annexed into Eagle, Avimor would bring upwards of 21,000 new people into the town over the next 30 years – a 64% increase in population.
Some people worry that growth will strain services, resources and Eagle taxpayers. One commissioner asked Avimor's lawyer, Deborah Nelson, whether they ever considered becoming its own city.
Nelson said it was not in their best interest.
"We'd rather be a part of Eagle and integrated into Eagle," she said. "You have a great equestrian community. You have a great hiking community, biking community. We'd like being a part of that."
Avimor proposes donating land to each public school district – West Ada School District, Emmett School District #221 and Horseshoe Bend to avoid overcrowding.
Planning and Zoning will eventually recommend whether the city should annex Avimor. Regardless, City Council will make the final decision.
One Eagle resident expressed her disappointment with that process.
"There's not enough information.... why isn't it its own city? Why aren't we putting this to a vote of the citizens? This should come to us, not relying on four city council members and [the] mayor. It just doesn't sit right with the citizens of Eagle," she said.
As of now, there is no definitive timeline for when the proposal will go before City Council. Public testimony will continue at the next Planning and Zoning meeting.
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