ADA COUNTY'S 2025 COMPREHENSIVE PLAN

This Plan recognizes that access to open space and recreational opportunities plays a key role in the quality of life of Ada County residents, but also in the economic vitality of the region.
— Ada County's 2025 Comprehensive Plan

In its staff report, Ada County states that because the Dry Creek Ranch subdivision is an "amendment" to the original plan (approved in 2010), it is subject to the 2006/2007 Comprehensive Plan and planned community requirements. However, because Ada County has changed significantly in the past 10 years and because the proposed "amendment" is different enough in key respects from the original plan that it should be considered a new application, we believe Ada County's 2025 Comprehensive Plan and current goals and priorities should be consulted when approving a development in 2017. 

The Dry Creek Ranch Subdivision does not adhere to Ada county's current goals, Policies, and priorities.


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Focus Area 1: County Resources and Amenities

  • Goal 1.1 - Protect, manage, and enhance Ada County's diverse natural resources, including vegetative, fish, and wildlife habitats.
    • 1.1a - Creeks and tributary waterways. Promote the protection and management of natural creeks, lakes and ponds as valuable resources for historic resources, recreation, stormwater management, and fish and wildlife habitat.
    • 1.1e - Important wildlife habitat. Minimize development encroachment on important winter range areas, the wildlife habitat of federal and state-listed species, federal sensitive species, rare plant species, and/or other important natural resources. 
    • 1.4a - Open space preservation. Support preservation of open space and natural areas through a variety of means such as, but not limited to, private donations, targeted land acquisitions, dedication, offsets, environmental protection regulations, or development mitigation measures such as conservation easements and development easements.
    • 1.6 - Protect and enhance Ada County's culturally and historically significant resources. 

Focus Area 2: Coordinated Growth

  • Goal 2.1 - Promote a coordinated and efficient pattern of development countywide.
    • 2.1f - Public engagement. Actively involve the public in planning activities throughout the County to provide opportunities for input and to promote awareness of plans and policies that may impact or benefit local residents.
    • 2.1g - Affordable housing. Coordinate with other jurisdictions and outside agencies and groups to support the provision of affordable housing in the region.
    • 2.2c - Consistency between city and County plans. Work with cities and residents in proposed expansion areas as part of the process for amending an ACI boundary to address consistency between County and city comprehensive plan designations and policies for the expansion area.
    • 2.2 f - Residential development. Encourage residential development to occur at urban densities within the ACIs and in Planned Communities where urban public facilities are available, consistent with the cities' comprehensive plans.
    • 2.3d - Future Planned Communities must:
      • Articulate a clear vision for the future and strategies to promote a high degree of self-sufficiency;
      • Provide analysis of site and regional impacts from the proposed development and demonstrate how undue impacts to surrounding areas will be mitigated;
      • Provide assurances that urban facilities and services can be funded, operated, and maintained in a long term fiscally sound manner.
      • Provide for a mix of housing opportunities to meet the needs of individuals and families of all income groups, socio-economic backgrounds, and capabilities. 
      • Mitigate impacts to wildlife or habitat values through development or design standards related to habitat enhancement, open space preservation, conservation or development easements, or other means
  • Goal 2.4 - Protect the character and functions of distinct uses in rural, unincorporated parts of Ada County. 
    • 2.4c - Environmentally sensitive areas. Protect, manage, and enhance environmentally sensitive areas in accordance with the goals and policies in this plan. NOTE: The Dry Creek Valley is identified in the plan as a "Sensitive Wildlife/Ecological Area" and as "Deer Winter Range." 
  • Goal 2.5 - Continue to support the agricultural industry and preservation of agricultural land in rural, unincorporated parts of Ada County.
    • 2.5a - Right to farm. [...] Ensure non-agricultural development does not restrict adjacent agricultural operations. 
    • 2.5b - Prime agricultural land. Support the conservation of prime agricultural land and irrigated farmland in collaboration with land owners using available tools at the local, state, and federal level.
    • 2.7c - Land use conflicts. When the use of private property conflicts with the public interest, the land use planning process should provide a guide for decision-making. Such land use conflicts should be considered using a context larger than the boundaries of a particular parcel and a time frame longer than a particular property transaction. 

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Focus Area 3: Economic Capacity

  • Goal 3.3: Maintain Ada County's strong agricultural industry.
    • 3.3a - Economic benefits. Recognize the role of agriculture in the local, regional, and state economy. 
    • 3.3b - Food Security. Protect existing agricultural land in rural unincorporated areas and support efforts to bring additional land or operations into production countywide where viable as a means to support local producers, reduce transportation costs and resources need to import food to the region, and enhance food security. 

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Focus Area 6: Organizational Effectiveness

  • Goal 6.2: Provide accurate information and administer development application processes in an efficient manner.
    • 6.2e - Public participation. Provide ample opportunities for public participation and permitting processes and decisions through public hearings, notification of affected residents and property owners, use of the County's Web site, opportunities to provide written comments, and other outreach tools.
    • 6.2f - Public notice. Provide ample public notification of planning and permitting activities through the use of a variety of media (e.g., newspaper, TV, radio, mail, etc.) NOTE: Ada County did not provide notice for the public hearing on 12/15/16. They have failed to respond to concerns about this violation. This is not the first time Ada County has failed to post proper public notice for public hearings.
    • 6.3c - Public engagement. Establish a broad-based program for involving citizens in the governmental process of the County. NOTE: When citizens have tried to get involved in the governmental process of the County, they have not received any response to their questions and concerns.


This Plan recognizes the economic and intrinsic value of Ada County’s agricultural land and operations, the importance of both small-scale and large-scale agriculture, as well as the important role agriculture plays in regional food security and efforts to promote healthy communities within the region.
— Ada County's 2025 Comprehensive Plan