Ada County initiates Lady Bird Park relocation process to redevelop Expo Idaho

Ada County has taken the first step on the long road to redeveloping the Expo Idaho site.

Ada County Commissioners on Tuesday voted unanimously to move Lady Bird Park from its current location along Chinden Boulevard to a new location along the Boise River. This was the first step recommended by a panel of experts formed by the Urban Land Institute to study the site, the proposed redevelopment concepts and how it could be financed.

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The vision for the 260-acre site includes a hall for an Expo Idaho redeveloped to host the Western Idaho Fair, more natural open spaces, playgrounds, a redeveloped stadium for the Boise Hawks and a downtown retail area, shops, restaurants and residential developments. The project is estimated to cost a combination of $ 172.3 million in public and private funds over 15 to 30 years.

The 20-acre park is currently home to Little League fields and other open space in the southwest corner of the property, but the ULI panel suggested it would be best used near the greenbelt along the river. . There is no exact location yet where it would go, but the new park location could be placed anywhere in the area where the RV park and former horse racing stables are currently located. Les Bois park.

A process of several years

Relocating the park is no simple endeavor as it was funded and built in 1965 with assistance from the United States Department of the Interior under a Land and Land Conservation Fund project agreement. waters. It will take coordination with the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation and the National Parks Service to move the park to the Expo Idaho site. A county attorney told commissioners the conversation process could take years.

Elizabeth Paul, who lives near the Expo Idaho site, was the only person to testify on the matter at the public hearing. She said the county should wait to begin the process until it knows for sure where the park will go at the Expo Idaho site.

“What concerns me most is the wording of the resolution saying you want to move it next to the Boise River, which means the floodplain,” she said. “These areas are not appropriate for the type of activity now taking place at Lady Bird Park …”

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