ADA CoUNTY DEVELOPMENT SERVICES
Development Services has been primarily responsible for managing this project.
- Development Services was responsible for ensuring the public had proper notice of the public hearing held on December 15, 2017. They failed to post notice of this public pursuant to Idaho Code 67-6509 and Ada County Ordinance 8-7A-5.
- The Dry Creek Ranch subdivision does not adhere to either Ada County's 2007 or 2025 Comprehensive Plan. We believe they should not have recommended approval of this development.
- By recommending approval, Development Services has failed to protect and preserve open space, critical wildlife habitat, and prime farmland.
- Development Services did not include an important exhibit pertaining to the original 2010 Development Agreement Conditions in their official staff report.
- Development Services has made it difficult to access public information pertaining to this project. They have failed to provide records for reasonable Public Records Requests about the Dry Creek Ranch, and they have failed to provide records pursuant to Idaho Code 31-2419.
- Typographical errors in the project number have made the project difficult to locate online.
- Development Services has not responded to emails from the public with concerns and questions about how the project has been handled.
THE PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION
Despite opposition from members of the community, organizations, and businesses, the Planning and Zoning Commission voted to recommend approval of the Dry Creek Ranch subdivision at the public hearing on December 15, 2016. In the vote, two commissioners did not vote, three voted for approval, one voted for denial. Of the three who voted for approval, two of commissioners were new and had not seen the project before that evening. The public was not given notice of this public hearing, and many members of the public did not attend who would have had the meeting been properly noticed. The Planning and Zoning Commission stated that the "horse was already out of the barn" and because the land was already zoned for development they could not deny the "amendment."
THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
The Board of County Commissioners (Commissioner Case, Commissioner Tibbs, and Commissioner Visser) received nearly 90 written testimonies concerning the Dry Creek Ranch subdivision, most in opposition. At the public hearing on February 15, 2017, more than 5 times the number of people testified against the development than for it. Yet despite opposition from members of the community, organizations, and businesses, despite facts and evidence presented by experts, despite the development's lack of adherence to Ada County's own Comprehensive Plan, the Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the Dry Creek Ranch subdivision on February 21, 2017. As elected officials, the Board of County Commissioners have the responsibility to serve the best interests of their community, not the interests of the developer. We believe they have failed to do so.
- The BOCC failed to respond to concerns from the community about the lack of public notice for the December 15, 2016 public hearing. Public participation is an integral part of the public hearing process and the lack of public notice should have been taken seriously by the commissioners.
- The BOCC failed an explanation of the reasons behind their decision for approving the Dry Creek Ranch "amendment" at their meeting on February 21, 2017. The meeting lasted less than 10 minutes.
- The office of the BOCC failed to include accurate information about the name of a local business in their official minutes from the February 15, 2017 public hearing.
- On March 21, 2017, the BOCC denied a Motion for Reconsideration submitted by a group of concerned community members. That meeting lasted less than one minute, and they gave no explanation for their denial at the meeting.
- The BOCC's office has made it difficult to access public information pertaining to this project. They have failed to provide records for reasonable Public Records Requests about the Dry Creek Ranch, and they have failed to respond to Public Records Requests pursuant to Idaho Code 74-103.
- The BOCC's office has not responded emails from the public with concerns and questions about how the project has been handled.
- Commissioner Case received thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from real estate businesses, developers, and building contractors. Despite claiming to be an advocate of open and transparent government processes, Commissioner Case failed to disclose a $1,000 contribution by Boise Hunter Homes to his 2016 election campaign.
- The BOCC intervened in our lawsuit against County Clerk Rich and worked in tandem with the developer to request that the judge prohibit the clerk from filing the petition.
- Clerk Rich testified under oath that Commissioner Case told him that filing the initial petition would be a bad idea.
- The BOCC denied annual funding to an organization because employees - in their personal capacity - expressed opposition to the subdivision.
- In direct response to our referendum petition, Ada County was responsible for a bill in the Idaho Legislature that seeks to take away the ability for every citizen to challenge any local land use decision through a petition.
Ada County Courthouse photo provided by Jimmy Emerson. Thank you!