Ada towns look toward future by planning
effective way to expand
EAGLE West Ada County cities are looking at expanding
their borders to take in booming growth surrounding them.
Star and Eagle leaders plan to meet this week to talk about
how their areas of impact land outside a city that
the city has some regulatory and planning authority over
should grow and be managed. And starting next week, Eagle
leaders want residents to help map out how the city should
grow through 2025.
The idea is decide now what that land should look like as
it develops, said Eagle Planning Administrator Bill Vaughan.
Eagle Mayor Nancy Merrill said city officials also want to
make sure their Ada County counterparts have clear guidelines
for any developments they approve in Eagle´s area of
If we don´t do the long-term planning now for
that area, then you are forced with implementing unplanned
development patterns, which is not responsible growth,
Eagle is among Idaho´s fastest-growing cities. From
2000 to 2002, the population grew by 17 percent and increased
by more than 1,000 residents per year, city officials said.
Eagle´s population in 2002 was 13,380 compared with
3,327 in 1990, according to the Community Planning Association
of Southwest Idaho.
Eagle can only grow to the west toward Star because it´s
hemmed in on all other sides by Meridian, the Foothills and
Boise, Merrill said.
We see a lot of heavy urbanized growth in the areas
approved by the county. We have a desire to do planning for
the city, Merrill said.
And public participation in planning is key to getting approval
from the Ada County Commission, Vaughan said.
Having community buy-off and participation means so
much. It´s hard to argue with the voice of the people,
Eagle and Star leaders meet at 4 p.m. today at the Star Fire
What we want to do is get some efficient and effective
planning between the two cities, Merrill said.
Star Mayor Nathan Mitchell said his city is slightly ahead
of Eagle in the process of expanding its area of impact.
We already have an application in front of Ada County,
Mitchell said. We have gone through the process with
the public and City Council.
Ada County commissioners asked Star and Eagle officials to
work out any potential conflicts for the ground between the
two cities, Mitchell said.
Essentially the ground between Eagle´s current
area of impact and Highway 16 would in the best interest of
both cities to have, he said.
Vaughan said Eagle plans to wrap up the planning and hearing
process this coming winter before submitting the plan to Ada
County. Idaho code requires the county to adopt a comprehensive
plan for managing growth before it takes effect in the area
of city impact.