STAR, Idaho — It's no secret, the Treasure Valley has grown by leaps and bounds since the turn of the century.
The Gem State had the fastest growing population in the nation, up 2.1%, between 2019 and 2020, with much of the growth occurring in Idaho’s urban areas. We see growth affecting almost everything here in the Boise area, from our schools to our housing, but there are some under-the-radar localities here in the Valley that have seen major growth too.
Nationwide, there are 3,093 cities with populations larger than 10,000. When those cities are ranked based on their percentage growth between 2019 and 2020, eight of the top 200 fastest-growing cities are in Idaho. Kuna (43), Post Falls (46), Star (55), Eagle (65), Meridian (70), Nampa (151) Ammon (167) and Caldwell (171) all have growth rates ranging from 7.5% to 3.5%.
Trevor Chadwick has been Mayor of the City of Star since 2020 but started living in Star before it was even officially a city.
"Most people don't know this, but Star has only officially been a city since 1997," Chadwick explained.
Chadwick came to Star in 1994, more than ten years ago. He says in the past ten years, he's watched the city go through some major growth.
"It was just a really small town, we still had some dirt roads out here in Star," Chadwick said. "If you look at it from when I first came to Star in 1994, big difference between the Star of then and Star of today with all the growth we've seen."
Star is mostly located in Ada County, although part of it rests within the Canyon County line. According to census data, Ada County's population has gone up by 26 percent and Star has seen the highest percentage change in growth. In 2010, Star's population rested at nearly 6,000 people but by 2020 it had about doubled, a 94.4% change in population.
The big question: will this rapid growth continue? The city saw a ton of people move there during the pandemic. Factoring in that, plus the housing boom, Chadwick believes it's still too early to predict what the next ten years will hold.
"I think time will tell--these next three months are going to be a tell of what's going to happen in the future in our valley," Chadwick says.
Star defines itself as a "bedroom community" which means most of its citizens travel outside the city for work--but Chadwick is hoping to change that by bringing in more businesses, something he believes will bring economic growth.
"We're trying to get an array of jobs and businesses here in Star so folks can shop and work locally," Chadwick says.
The City of Star has been meeting with organizations like the Ada County Highway District and the Idaho Transportation Department to ensure the city's infrastructure is prepared to handle growth in the future.
As Idaho News 6 has reported, both the City of Melba and the City of Caldwell put emergency moratoriums on growth earlier this year in order to plan and prepare for proposed growth. For now, Star says there is no plan to put a moratorium of their own in place.