Success at the City Council — Plantation Gets Open Space Consideration!

Update: July 23, 2019: Report from Monday's City Council meeting

Thanks to everyone who showed up for the City Council meeting -- It was a super turn out that was not overlooked by the Mayor and the Council Members.

There were three agenda items of interest to Plantation members and homeowners. The first was the Comprehensive Plan. Jenah Thornborrow, the Garden City planning director, gave a complete rundown of the changes to the Comprehensive Plan that had been suggested by the public. Then, Mayor John Evans read each one individually, and the Council voted on each one before moving on to the next. In the end the Comprehensive Plan with the changes recommended by city staff was approved unanimously by the Council. Plantation is indicated on the Land Use Map as a “Future Park/Open Space.” The following wording was approved:

“EXISTING PARKS AND PROPOSED GREEN SPACE AND/OR PARKS: Areas that are devoted to green spaces including golf courses, open spaces and park uses, or are proposed for green spaces are shown on the Land Use Map. Green spaces contribute to the health and well-being of the community. Existing parks should be preserved. The location shown on the map of future green spaces is just an approximation. Future spaces should be well integrated into the development plan for the property, surrounding context, with maximum opportunity for pedestrian and bicycle access.”

This does not change the zoning of the property. However, it is the first step in that direction. A baby step perhaps. There is a long way to go to our goal of protecting the golf course as a golf course for future generations.

The second item of interest was the resolution to reconsider the resolution to vacate the Access Easement. According to the Council Members, they had received information that Idaho state law basically gave them no option but to reconsider the resolution. The resolution to reconsider passed unanimously. The resolution to vacate the Access Easement will be noticed, a public hearing held, and a vote by the City Council will come; no date was set. You can expect another registered letter from the city with the information on the easement, the date for the public hearing, and instruction on how to give the city your input. We will also keep you informed on this one. We still don’t know why Glass Creek is going to all the effort to vacate the easement.

The final item was the assignment of members to the citizen’s work group to rewrite the Boise River Overlay. This is important to Plantation as the entire property currently lies within the boundaries set up in the existing Boise River Overlay. It is the position of the Save Plantation Coalition that nothing north of the Boise River should be included. The members of the committee are: Hanna Ball, property owner/developer in SE Garden City; Wendy Carver-Herbert, neighborhood activist, lives south of the river, west of Glenwood; Lois Bauer, Treasurer of the Plantation Master HOA; Dr. Roger Rosentreter, Botanist – with Idaho Water Engineering and an avid kayaker and naturalist; Jessie Sherburne, with BSU, received her MS in Raptor Biology; Bob Taunton, project manager for Glass Creek.

Again, thanks to everyone that showed up, it didn’t go exactly as planned but so far, the results are acceptable. And thanks, also to all of you that support the Coalition and hold the Plantation near and dear to your heart.

Save Plantation Coalition

Original July 15, 2019 post:

Friends,

Plantation needs your help on Monday, July 22nd, when the future of the course will be discussed by the Garden City Council. Mayor
John Evans and the Council will consider adoption of the updated Comprehensive Plan, which currently designates Plantation as “Future Park/Open Space” – a change that is being actively opposed by owner Will Gustafson and Glass Creek LLC.

While the Save Plantation Coalition thanks Glass Creek for all of the many improvements (see below) being made, we remain puzzled by the ownership’s stance on open space, especially since Mr. Gustafson and his representatives say they want Plantation to remain a golf course. At times, they have said they would consider selling it to members at the close of development.

The Comprehensive Plan (click on blue link to view) lays out the city’s vision for the future and Idaho law requires that it be considered in deciding any change in the allowable land use of property. The plan differs from the zoning of the property. The zoning – i.e., what can be built today – is supposed to follow the guidance of the plan – i.e., what the city would like to see built.

Currently, Plantation is zoned low density residential, which would allow construction of up to six homes per acre. Glass Creek’s plans for State Street will undoubtedly involve an upzoning to allow more intense development.

And that’s the point.

With the current “Future Park/Open Space” designation in the plan update, preservation would need to be considered in any development proposal. This wouldn’t prevent development but would shape how any proposal would impact open space.

At the July 8th Council meeting, Bob Taunton, Glass Creek’s project manager, testified that the proposed plan does not designate Plantation as open space, despite what you can see for yourself. Mr. Taunton said the yellow star means nothing, contradicting the
extensive discussions that happened at the citizens committee, the Design Review Committee and the Planning & Zoning Commission, where each advisory group concluded “Future Park/Open Space” was appropriate.

The Council delayed adoption and asked its staff for a detailed analysis of the recommendation – a wise decision. Please consider attending the Council meeting on Monday, July 22nd, at 6 p.m. at Garden City Hall to show support for Plantation and open space. Letters and emails to the council and to Development Services would also be helpful.

You can write to the city at 6015 N. Glenwood St., Garden City, ID 83714-1347, or to the emails below:

Some other things that occurred at the July 8th City Council meeting may be of interest:

  • Glass Creek went one-for-two on applications to vacate easements around the No. 16 tee box. A 15-foot access easement died when no council member would second a motion; council members questioned why the request was being made, and the public was heavily opposed. Another application to vacate a 20-foot-wide sewer and water easement passed unanimously.
  • The council repealed the city’s Boise River Overlay, a poorly written document that went too far.  The overlay was supposed to impact properties being developed along the Boise River, including Plantation. A citizens group has been assembled to rewrite the overlay law, and Mr. Taunton, Glass Creek’s
    project manager, has said he’s a member of the group. This seems odd and a potential conflict of interest, given Mr. Taunton’s stake in development of Plantation. Please let your city officials know your feelings using the contact information listed above. Council Member Higgins is the council’s liaison to the overlay group.

Again, we wonder why Glass Creek is fighting so hard to keep Plantation from being designated as Future Park/Open Space,
especially when Mr. Gustafson and his team say they want to keep Plantation as a golf course. The opposition along with the unexplained need for the easement vacations at No. 16, created a lot of confusion and discussion among homeowners and course members.

No doubt, the ongoing improvements to the club house and elsewhere are wonderful. The management team at the club is excellent and has never been stronger. The pool area is getting some much-needed refurbishment, and a bocce ball court is soon to be added. Best of all is the Brian Curley redesign of the course, which would seem to indicate: (1) continued golf, (2) limited development along State Street.

Taken as a whole, there are a number of positive and puzzling things happening at Plantation. We certainly hope for the best and strongly urge your continued interest and participation, particularly going into the July 22nd City Council meeting.

As always, thanks for your ongoing support.

Save Plantation Coalition

2 thoughts on “Success at the City Council — Plantation Gets Open Space Consideration!”

  1. Quick correction to information above: The Plantation Golf Course property is zoned R-2 Low Density (not Medium density as mentioned above). It is still 6 units per acre. Please attend the meeting!!!

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