A Visionary Community Coming to Life in East Boise

Back in the early 20th century, Dallas and Alta Harris founded their ranch in east Boise based on their values: stewardship of the land, preservation of wildlife and quality of life. A pioneer at heart, Dallas drafted the Warm Springs Village plan in 1976. His vision was ahead of its time, promising exceptional living for its residents while protecting the beauty and health of the land. Four decades later, the Harris family’s vision is coming to life, incorporating new urbanism and smart growth principles in a community plan that realizes their father’s pioneering vision.

Dallas’ philosophy was that hard work and cooperation between family, neighbors and a dedicated team of consultants would culminate in an outstanding community. This philosophy is evident in the Harris Ranch Specific Plan.

In June 2005, Dallas and Alta’s children created Harris Family Limited Partnership and created their mission. They wanted to encompass the philosophy of their father, and in so doing, dedicated themselves to the development of Harris Ranch. Their mission became a commitment to the natural environment, the community and their heritage.

In April 2006, a four-day charrette—a public involvement process including numerous entities—was conducted. Representatives from seven neighborhoods, The Idaho Conservation League, Idaho Fish & Game, Boise Parks & Recreation, Ada County Parks, Idaho Power and Boise Planning & Development Services participated in the planning process of the Harris Ranch Community. The first charrette was followed up by another two-day charrette a month later, and monthly progress meetings until the application was submitted in December 2006. Subsequent meetings have been convened after Harris Ranch received unanimous approval of their planned community from the Boise City Council.

Through the charrette process with the owners of Harris Ranch and stakeholders, a clear vision of the preferred future for Harris Ranch evolved. Smart growth principles, new urbanism and a comprehensive Wildlife Mitigation Plan serve as the cornerstones of this vision. Specifically, the vision includes pedestrian-oriented public streets, plazas, greens, riverfront walks and pathways. Those public streets are lined with–and shaped by—mixed use, pedestrian-oriented buildings. The scale and general character of this new development are based, in many ways, on the best elements of Boise’s heritage: the mixed-use shop-front buildings of historic downtown and the iconic buildings of the agriculture and timber industries.

The specific plan, the code and design guidelines that were approved in 2006 define an agreement between the community and property owners. The community commits itself to building and maintaining a high-quality pedestrian experience in relation to private and public buildings and common space. The property and business owners commit themselves to building high-quality buildings that face the public domain with façades scaled to the pedestrian, orienting on-site parking and service functions to the backs of the buildings and the interiors of the blocks—all of which raise the quality of life and the standard of living by creating better places to live, creating a better future for us all.

Come see the Harris Ranch vision coming to life in East Boise. Contact Kami Brant, 208.713.1933, O2RealEstateGroup.com.