Friday, April 05, 2013

Contact: Mike Journee
208-384-4402 |

City to Consider Purchase of "Hillside to the Hollow" Foothills Property

Small non-priority parcels would be held for future land exchanges.

Mayor David Bieter and the Boise City Council will consider the purchase of nearly 260 acres of open space that provide outstanding recreational opportunities in the Boise Foothills. The undeveloped land is a major section within the area commonly known as the “Hillside to the Hollow” property, located north of Hill Road between Bogus Basin Road and North 33rd Street.

At its April 9 meeting, the Mayor and Council will discuss allocating $1.9 million from the 2001 Foothills serial levy fund to purchase seven parcels from Boise Foothills LLC (formerly known as DBSI Boise Foothills LLC), a consortium of 51 individuals. Approximately 30 acres of the property are not considered important for recreation or habitat preservation and will be held for a possible future exchange for other high-priority Foothills open space and may ultimately be developed. If that occurs, the City will require permanent trail easements to allow access through the properties.

“This purchase, if successful, will be an exciting new acquisition with the potential to create trail connections in an area that is enormously popular with hikers and mountain bikers,” said Mayor Bieter. “We are pleased with the opportunity to enhance the health of our community by providing recreational access near existing neighborhoods and businesses, and to continue expanding the great legacy of the Foothills levy.”

"The ownership of the Boise Foothills property is happy to work with the citizens of the City of Boise through the Office of the Mayor, the City Council, the Parks and Recreation Department and the Foothills Advisory Committee,” said owners’ representative Jonathon Kaji, President of California-based Kaji & Associates. “We believe the sale of this important property is a clear “win-win” for all parties concerned.” 

Closing of the deal is subject to successful completion of due diligence on the acquisition, which is expected to be complete by mid-May. If the purchase is completed, the City will conduct public meetings to gather recommendations on trails, plants, wildlife habitat, and other resource issues. 

The property is one of the areas most requested by citizens for preservation under the Foothills levy. A private organization, the Hillside to the Hollow Coalition, has been advocating for designation of the land as open space since 2008.

The two-year Foothills serial levy generated $10 million for the protection of open space in the Boise Foothills. Acquisition of this property has long been a priority of the Foothills Conservation Advisory Committee, a volunteer group that makes recommendations to the Mayor and Council on Foothills land acquisitions.

By leveraging the serial levy and other sources of funding, the City has protected 10,735 acres of land through acquisition, donation, conservation easement, or land exchange. This latest purchase will leave approximately $1.8 million remaining in the levy fund, which the City will use to continue its focus on the protection of critical wildlife habitat, riparian corridors, rare plants, historic sites, and development of potential trail connections.