Whisper Meadows preliminary plat

This is the preliminary plat layout for Whisper Meadows Subdivision, located off Linder and Columbia roads.

Kuna City Council members are scheduled to decide on two subdivisions totaling more than 400 new houses later this month.

A 310-house subdivision and a 114-house subdivision are slated to go before Kuna City Council for preliminary plat design approval.

Developer Tim Eck is trying to build Whisper Meadows, including 310 single-family houses, next to Chisum Valley Subdivision, which is 30 houses off Linder and Columbia roads.

Select Development and Contracting LLC, based in Meridian, is seeking to build 114 single-family houses on Deer Flat Road. The development, currently called Lugarno Terra Subdivision, would be near the incoming Ashton Estates Subdivision, on the northeast corner of Deer Flat and Meridian roads across from Ridley’s Market plaza.

A public hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 20, at Kuna City Hall, 751 W. Fourth St. The public may attend and offer testimony. Written testimony may be submitted to Kuna City Hall by Nov. 14.

Both preliminary plat designs for Lugarno Terra and Whisper Meadows subdivisions were approved by Kuna Planning and Zoning commissioners Oct. 9. The preliminary plat details the number of residential units proposed for the lots and how the subdivision will look.

WHISPER MEADOWS SUBDIVISION

Kuna City Council previously approved to rezone the 73.5-acre property from agricultural use to medium-density residential (R-6) with a maximum of 4.25 houses per acre.

Throughout the approval process, Chisum Valley Subdivision residents have expressed concerns about increased, high-speed traffic and too much pressure on utilities like sewer and water. Springhill Subdivision and the new high school are also planned to be built on Linder Road near Columbia Road.

“Our request is well below the densities expected by and planned by Kuna when the comp plan was developed and approved over 10 years ago,” Eck told council members in June. “The Kuna School District relied on the densities expected in the comp plan, recognized the current growth patterns and strategically purchased acreage and are currently designing a new high school contiguous to the east boundary of the site.”

Eck also plans to place a buffer zone of large lots along the south boundary bordering Chisum Valley as an accommodation for some residents’ desires for lower-density in the area.

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Council members voted, 2-1, in June to approve the rezone. Council member Warren Christensen voted against, stating that Kuna’s situation has drastically changed from 10 years ago, and he too is concerned about traffic volumes increasing from development around Linder Road.

Kuna Planning and Zoning commissioners unanimously approved the preliminary plat request, 3-0, on Oct. 9. However, commissioner Cathy Gealy asked if more could be done to mitigate the traffic concerns.

Eck and city planner Troy Behunin assured the commission it was out of their hands and if anything could be done that would be up to Ada County Highway District.

LUGARNO TERRA SUBDIVISION

The potentially incoming subdivision was approved to be zoned medium-density residential, R-4, with 114 buildable lots sized 8,000 to 13,000 square feet. House sizes are still being determined; a possible range is 2,500 to 3,5000 square feet, according to the developer. An average of almost three houses per acre was proposed.

The property is comprised of two parcels totaling almost 42 acres. The smaller parcel, which has several houses on it, is right next to Ashton Estates Subdivision, while the larger parcel, of agricultural land, is farther down on Deer Flat Road.

Planning and Zoning commissioners unanimously approved the proposal, 3-0, Oct. 9 following a public hearing.

David Andrews and Shirley Grothaus, two residents who each border the proposed development, asked questions at the Oct. 9 public hearing about water run-off and privacy with fencing and lighting.

Jonathan Seel, representing the developer, said that while it is planned to tile over an irrigation ditch that bisects the property, the developer is aware of the height difference and even though land can’t be elevated, the developer is required to maintain water run-off so it doesn’t impact nearby properties.

Seel also said the proposed lights in and around the subdivision would point downward, but the elevation difference can’t be helped. Seel said certain photometrics (the brightness of the lights) will be considered.

The issue of increased traffic on Deer Flat and Meridian roads was also brought up, but Seel said that can’t be avoided, and traffic flow is within Ada County Highway District requirements. Seel said the increase shouldn’t be too bad because the proposed subdivision is lower-density residential, and it doesn’t have any commercial development in it.

Alx Stevens is the reporter for Kuna Melba News. Contact her at 208-922-3008 or editor@kunamelba.com.

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