Date: June 25–30, 2006
Location: The Kirk Group
Sponsor: Spring Creek Ranch, Idaho
Chair: James M. DeFrancia
Subject Area: Sustainable Development
Summary of Recommendations
The Kirk Group requested that the ULI Advisory Services panel assess the viability of a new town on the Spring Creek property as a tool for enhancing Blaine County’s livability for its year-round workforce. The panel found that the current public policy did not support the creation of a new town; therefore the comprehensive plan (Blaine County 2025) needed to be amended. But, the panel still concluded that a new town was appropriate for accommodating the long-term growth of the community and could contribute to sensible growth patterns and best land use within the valley.
The panel saw that there was strong desire to create a new town that provided viable, affordable housing, while also creating a vibrant, active place. In order to do this, developers of Spring Creek needed to think about design codes and rules that were more evolutionary then prescriptive. The town set a goal to look as if it had evolved over time, and not as if it was planned out in one long process. The panel proposed that Spring Creek could become a catalyst for regional collaboration that began to address transportation, job growth, and quality of life. The panel also recommended the following items that needed to be strongly considered in the community vision: providing affordable workforce housing, setting the new airport in the south valley, preserving open spaces, diversifying regional employment, capitalizing on distinctive nature, stopping sprawl, implementing TDR programs, and confronting transportation. These suggestions would help build on the site’s sense of place, spirit, and identity, while creating a vibrant and economically viable community. After the completion of a more extensive feasibility study for the site, the panel believed that the concept of a new town in Blaine County was progressive and warranted.