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Northwest Boise group tries once more to stop proposed development

Prominence subdivision plans in Northwest Boise
City of Boise
A rendering of a controversial proposed development in northwest Boise.

One of Boise’s most contentious fights in recent years over a housing development in the northwest corner of the city made its way before the Idaho Supreme Court Wednesday.

In 2019, Boise City Council approved the Prominence subdivision, a 253-unit mix of apartments, townhomes and single-family houses just off of Hill Road. That decision overruled rejections from the city’s planning and zoning commission after multiple, hours-long hearings on the issue.

The Northwest Neighborhood Association has fought against the project since 2017. It claims the development will degrade the area’s rural character, harm wildlife and pose a fire safety risk – much of which was rejected by a district court judge last year, according to Boise Dev.

Brian Ertz, a lawyer for the group, said Wednesday that the city council also illegally considered new information in approving the project without a proper hearing.

“The council just didn’t want to have to take the extra time,” Ertz said.

Deputy Boise Attorney James Smith for the city disagrees.

“Any fact-finding that occurred by the planning and zoning commission does not bind the council. Planning and zoning sends that up by way of a recommendation,” Smith said.

The argument about fire safety could also soon be moot. City officials recently announced construction could begin this year on a new fire station on State Street and Bogart Lane, shortening response times to the area.

Idaho Supreme Court justices will issue a decision at a later date.

Follow James Dawson on Twitter @RadioDawson for more local news.

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I cover politics and a bit of everything else for Boise State Public Radio. Outside of public meetings, you can find me fly fishing, making cool things out of leather or watching the Seattle Mariners' latest rebuilding season. If you have a tip, please get in touch!