Ada County Commissioners recently launched a website on plans for furthering discussion of the county’s growth and the next steps the commissioners will take to keep the public engaged in the growth conversation.
Launched on Dec. 18, the Next Steps website follows two interactive public meetings about growth held on Oct. 16 at the Idaho Expo.
The meetings were prompted by the fourth annual Treasure Valley Survey, conducted by Boise State University in September, which showed 72% of respondents think the area is growing too rapidly. Ada County alone has grown 24% in the last 10 years, from a population of 392,362 in 2010 to more than 487,000 in 2019.
“Ada County and its residents want to answer the question of ‘What does growth look like for us and what’s the fiscal impact for the county?'” Ada County planner Brianna Bustos explained. “That’s why we’ve created this webpage. We will also be be holding neighborhood meetings beginning in January where residents can come and share their thoughts on the matter.”
The first neighborhood meeting will be held on Jan. 7, 2020 at 5 p.m. at the Barber Park Education and Event Center at 4049 S. Eckert Road in Boise. The meeting will begin with a brief introduction by Ada County Commissioner Diana Lachiondo. The agenda includes an hour-long session for the public to share comments and a half-hour presentation by county planning staff.
Future neighborhood meetings are scheduled for Jan. 23, March 5 and March 19. Locations for these have not yet been announced.
Bustos also said the county has asked the Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho, better known as COMPASS, to do a fiscal analysis on Ada County growth. COMPASS is the metropolitan planning organization (MPO) for Ada and Canyon Counties. All urbanized areas over 50,000 in population must have an MPO if local or state transportation agencies spend federal money on transportation improvements.
“We are doing analyses on several regional growth scenarios,” said Lisa Itkonen of COMPASS. “We’re doing them for both Ada and Canyon Counties. These will be out for public commentary this summer. Besides Ada County, Canyon County is also experiencing the same sort of growth and several of their cities are working on updating their comprehensive plans.”=