Different Approaches to Fast Growth in Idaho's Treasure Valley

Three cities on the periphery of the fast-growing Treasure Valley showcase different approaches to a sudden influx of newcomers.

2 minute read

April 18, 2022, 11:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Treasure Valley

CSNafzger / Shutterstock

Peripheral cities are gaining prominence as the Treasure Valley around Boise continues to grow, according to a recent article by Carolyn Komatsoulis for the Idaho Press.

“For surrounding counties in the Treasure Valley, the prospect of growth means many things: It can be an added pressure on development, the potential to change the character of a community, or provide an opportunity to do things right.”

The article examines growth management case studies from three cities in counties surrounding Boise—Mountain Home, Marsing, and Emmett. Each of these cities "are feeling the impacts of local growth and development in their own backyard,” according to the article, but choosing mush different responses—distinct from each other and from the precedent set by the communities already enveloped by the region's sprawling growth.

Mountain Home, previously known mostly as the home to the Mountain Home Air Force Base, has recently been crowned as the “Mural Capital of Idaho.” Brock Cherry, community development director for Mountain Home, is quoted extensively in the article, including describing growth plans that call for “higher-density residences, commercial and industry, and a lower percentage of single-family homes compared to some cities in the Treasure Valley.”

Marsing is attempting to accommodate new growth while also preserving farmland by sticking to its comprehensive plan. Higher density development is not included in that plan—or any plans in surrounding Owyhee County.

Finally, Emmett is cited as an example of a city developing quickly while focusing resources, often financed by developers, on the infrastructure necessary to accommodate a larger population. While some cities in the region never planned for their current population, Emmett city leader say they starting planning for the current influx of new residents severn years ago.

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