Instead of going through a full application process with the Boise Planning and Zoning Commission, developer Jim Conger can present his next plan directly to the City Council.
On Tuesday, the council set March 18 as the date to hear Conger’s next plan for developing the 12 acres just west of the Idaho Shakespeare Festival’s amphitheater on East Warm Springs Road.
Last year, Conger submitted applications for a 43-unit housing development and several storage buildings on the 12 acres, which David and Ann Triplett own. Shakespeare Festival leaders and supporters fought him, saying noise from the development would disturb performances in the amphitheater. They also worried people living in the homes would complain about noise from the amphitheater – especially at night – and try to stop or restrict the performances.
On Jan. 15, the City Council approved Conger’s request to annex the land into city boundaries, but denied permits for the proposed housing development. Council members ordered Conger, the Tripletts and the Shakespeare Festival to enter mediation, which the city will pay for, in hopes that they reach an agreement that both sides tolerate on what kind of development should take place.
Supporters of the Shakespeare Festival say they might be able to raise enough money to buy the Tripletts’ land so that the family doesn’t have to sell it to Conger or any other developer. If that happens, they say, the festival would probably donate the land to another group or agency, possibly the Idaho Foundation for Parks and Lands.
Scheduling the next meeting almost two months out is meant to give time for mediation. The date of the meeting could move to account for unexpected changes in the mediation timeline.