How Star’s Push Towards Growth Could Be Too Costly
Ten years ago, Star, Idaho was a quaint bedroom community to Boise, Meridian, and Nampa. Residents were limited to the old Star Merc if they wanted to buy groceries in town. Now Star, like all of Idaho, is growing at a high-speed level.
Residents now have the Star Merc, Bi-Mart, Ridley's, and the brand new Albertson's that just opened. Like the rest of the state, Star's ambitions are limited by its lack of infrastructure. However, that doesn't seem to be stopping their growth.
Star Idaho's Past and Present
Despite the uncomfortable increase in traffic and congestion, Star city leaders embrace more growth. Long-time residents say that the city, once the smallest in Ada County, grows too fast. They fear the influx of new homes, shopping centers, Californians will cost Star its identity. One must wonder why the push to add more homes and buildings while the roads remain two lanes?
The city's leadership has big plans for building a San Antonio-type River Walk complete with residential and retail opportunities. The project has been in the works for years and was released to the Idaho Statesman. Mayor Chadwick told the Statesman that the city had not purchased the property. He hopes that the ranches will stay, but with the crazy money being spent on developing the city wants to have a plan.
On the other hand, the downtown area could use some improvements. Toon Town is the one-stop destination for most retail, as the residents call it. However, why not have the city develop retail shops along Highway 44 as you see in Middleton and some of Eagle?
Residents of Star have unsuccessfully fought growth over the last few years. There was an effort to pressure the city council not to approve low-income apartments, with hundreds showing up to a council meeting. Their concerns were overruled, and the apartments were built.
Another subdivision is being proposed that would bring in an additional 4,000 people to Star. The developer wants to build 1,600 homes along with a golf course. I don't know if it's the same proposal that suggested building a golf course first, then a sewer treatment plant to handle the additional loads. The Star residents who were impacted by that proposal didn't want to have the zoning adjusted to allow more homes per acre.
There were no plans to widen the roads to the new subdivision. As reported by the Statesman, the new project is all about the golf course. Although none of the actors in this proposal appear to be ready to acknowledge the lack of adequate roads is reducing the quality of life of all Idahoans.