Community Action Grant Projects

Since its formation, ULI Idaho *District Council has been fortunate to be the recipient of two Community Action Grants from the ULI Foundation. In both grants, *ULI Idaho partnered with other organizations to explore issues of importance to the region: infill development and agricultural land use.

Community Action Grant Projects

Sustainable Agriculture: Measuring Success

This research project was undertaken from June through December 2011. The research was funded by the Urban land Institute (ULI) Foundation with in-kind support from several partner organizations: the ULI Idaho District Council, the University of Idaho, Boise State University, and the Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho (COMPASS). The original initiative for the research was to provide information as part of the update of the Regional Long Range Transportation and Sustainability Plan being undertaken by the Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho (COMPASS).

The research objectives were to:

  • Focus attention on the contribution that a local food supply has on regional
    sustainability.
  • Identify the effect that improving the economics of agriculture can have on
    better land development practices.
  • Provide a better understanding of the current and future food security needs of
    the region and how that should be addressed through regional planning.
  • Set forth ways to measure progress and success in determining the economic
    sustainability of the local food economy and for improving the region’s
    contribution in supporting local food.

The research focus was from three perspectives: (1) what is the current market for foods produced locally and what agricultural products can be produced or are produced locally that meet our basic needs. How does this production translate into acreage and what is the available land supply to meet our food needs locally? (2) What are the current land use conditions as it relates to agricultural? What have been the trends in land conversions, what is the current use of land, and what are the current policies and practices that influence agricultural land uses? (3) What is the opinion of farmers, developers, planners and policy makers about the challenges and opportunities for agriculture land use?

The  attachments include a summary brochure of the research findings and portions of the  final report.

Consequences of Residential Infill Development on Existing Neighborhoods in the Treasure Valley

In 2004, the Urban Land Institute awarded a community action grant to the newly formed Idaho District Council. In partnership with Idaho Smart Growth, the purpose of the grant was to examine if in-fill projects resulted in the negative consequences that neighborhoods feared at the time the project was approved.
The study was conducted over a three year period with assistance from, Boise State University, the Ada County Assessor’s Office, the Ada County Highway District, the Cities of Meridian and Boise, builders and developers, and neighborhood association leaders.

Seven completed in-fill projects were analyzed. A review of the hearing and public comments for each project was documented. Changes in property valuation, parking and traffic conditions before and after the project were assessed. An on-site and mail survey was conducted of neighborhood opinions, and the developers of the projects were interviewed.

The general findings of the study are that many of the factors that create apprehension about in-fill projects are difficult to assess. These factors include density, neighborhood incompatibility, design, and lack of public amenities. For the factors that can be qualified, including traffic, parking and property values the community fears are generally unfounded.