Boise mayor brokers deal to move controversial trucking terminal

Posted at 2:00 PM, Apr 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-12 18:57:47-04

BOISE — The Boise City Council on Tuesday will consider a land trade contract with R&L Carriers -- that would move the company’s planned trucking transfer facility away from the Blue Valley manufactured home community in southeast Boise. Boise Mayor David Bieter has been confidentially directing negotiations with R&L around the exchange for about the past six months.

“In the deal, R&L would trade their property adjacent to Blue Valley (at 7901 S. Eisenman Rd.) for a city-owned parcel about one-quarter of a mile south of Blue Valley (at 9100 S. Eisenman Rd.). The properties are nearly identical in size at about 13.3 acres,” said Boise City spokesman Mike Journee.

Last month, the City Council approved R&L’s proposal to build a trucking terminal on its property -- after a contentious entitlement process and vocal opposition from Blue Valley residents. In its approval of the project, the City Council cited R&L’s legal right to build the terminal (with modifications to be stipulated by the city’s design review committee) on the industrially-zoned property.

“This has been a very difficult process for everyone involved, but especially for the residents of Blue Valley who’ve been alarmed about the possible reduction in the quality of life that they enjoy so much,” said Bieter. “After months of having my heart tell me one thing, but knowing the law says another, I cannot imagine a better outcome for everyone.”

Some Blue Valley residents are excited about the agreement, but others have mixed feelings.

“I appreciate the City of Boise for recognizing and working with the Blue Valley residents to ensure our continued health and welfare is protected,” said Bonnie Hardey, President of the Blue Valley Tenants Association. “I want to thank the people on both sides of this issue that worked hard to come to a reasonable solution to this issue.”

Mayor Bieter also praised R&L for agreeing to the trade.

“Despite having the legal right and the entitlement to build on their current site, this agreement shows that the team at R&L is eager to be a good neighbor,” said Bieter. “Their investment in our community will create jobs and we’re eager to work with them.”

“Going forward, the City of Boise also will work closely with businesses and residents in the area, including Blue Valley residents, to determine appropriate uses for the parcel next door to the neighborhood,” Journee stated.

A closed commercial gas station is currently on the city-owned parcel. As part of the agreement with R&L, those improvements will be removed to give the company a clean site for their trucking transfer terminal. If the agreement is endorsed by the Council, R&L’s design for the terminal on the new site will be required to go through the city’s usual entitlement process.