Developers try again for subdivision near Shakespeare Festival

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - A public hearing over a proposed subdivision that would be built near the Idaho Shakespeare Festival drew a crowd at the Boise City Council meeting Monday, which stretched into early Tuesday morning.

Some are concerned noise might be an issue because at the closest part, one home would be just 620 feet from the stage.

"A barking dog can ruin a 'Hamlet' soliloquy, a motorcycle can drown the tender moments in 'Romeo and Juliet' and a leaf blower or a boom box at a party can spoil the breath-taking finale of 'Caberet,'" said Gary Allen, a lawyer representing nearby neighborhoods.

Boise's Planning and Zoning Commission denied the subdivision last fall, but the developer appealed to the city council to change that decision.

Mayor Dave Bieter said he's glad he only has to vote in case of a tie.

"We all obviously love the presence of the Shakespeare Festival," Bieter said. "They're our cultural ambassadors for the city. They are one of the great reasons we love living here."

The developers say they've spent $10,000 on two separate sound studies.

"They needed to assure themselves that sound wouldn't be an issue," said Heath Clark, a lawyer representing the developer. "Why would they invest millions of dollars in the property if they didn't think they would have a saleable product in the end?"

The developer also says storage units and other modifications to the original plan will make sure the subdivision is a good neighbor for the Shakespeare Festival.