Idaho Eagle Forum      


Road To Regional Governance


1977 Community Planning Association of Southwestern Idaho (COMPASS). 

"As an association of local governments working together to plan for the future of the region, COMPASS members set priorities for spending federal and state transportation dollars over the next twenty years. The agency conducts this work as the metropolitan planning organization (MPO) for northern Ada County and Canyon County. The federal government requires the formation of an MPO when an urban area reaches 50,000 people. COMPASS has served as the MPO for northern Ada County since 1977 and for Canyon County since early 2003. Northern Ada County became a “Transportation Management Area” when the population reached 200,000 several years ago. This designation includes additional requirements for COMPASS to satisfy federal regulations, but also entitles the region to federal funds earmarked for large urban areas."



Bill Clinton signed Executive Order 12852 establishing the 'President's Council on Sustainable Development'


“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency joined with several non-profit and government organizations to form the Smart Growth Network (SGN).

US EPA - 1998
“The Sustainable Development Challenge Grant program is also a 
step in implementing ``Agenda 21, the Global Plan of Action on 
Sustainable Development,'' signed by the United States at the Earth 
Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. All of these programs require 
broad community participation to identify and address environmental 


June 1996

Planting the Seed for Regionalism - Christine Saum, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Institute and Dena Belzer of Strategic Economics of Berkeley California suggest to Brent Coles that he organize a forum for Treasure Valley mayors to discuss regionalism. 



Boise Mayor Brent Coles organized a two day meeting titled, "Treasure Valley Institute".  He invited area mayors and commissioners.  They produced a document titled, "Treasure Valley Partnership Agreement 2000 ".  They agreed to work together in 4 areas as documented in the agreement.  It would appear that the purpose of the partnership was to get around the public meeting law - so that the government leaders could discuss regionalism without any pesky members of the public and the press around to ask questions.



Idaho Smart Growth, a non-profit advocacy group notifies the Treasure Valley Partners of a federal grant opportunity.

Idaho Smart Growth is actually part of the Smart Growth network of change agents sponsored by the EPA to locate within targeted areas to implement Agenda 21.

From the Smart Growth website:

This web site is a subset of, developed
and maintained by the Sustainable Communities Network (SCN),
and supported with funding from the US EPA.

Idaho Smart Growth provided information resources for building and land use codes.  As with all other aspects of our lives, the goal is to harmonize our laws with the international standards set by some central planners in Europe. 

Code Reform Resources

Smart Growth Newsletter - article “Boise Mayor Hopes Amendment Will Delay Big Developments Until Ada County's Blueprint for Good Growth is Complete” 

Smart Growth website article  (included for background) EU Summit Hears Call to Consolidate Economic Policy with Social, Environmental Policies

''A good society and a good Europe is one that does not tolerate social exclusion and environmental destruction,'' wrote German Member of European Parliament, SPD (Social-Democratic) politician Martin Schulz on the eve of the European Union's fifth spring summit in Brussels, urging consolidation of several EU sustainability plans into a concrete framework ''that really does integrate economic policy with social policy and with the environment -- a 'smart growth strategy' that makes Europe a global leader.''

He asked the parliamentarians to focus on an investment strategy that would improve research and development, innovation, lifelong learning, infrastructure and social services. He also told them to help make the continent more supportive of small and medium businesses.

Other such organizations:

GMLA - Growth Management Leadership Alliance (notice at the bottom of the page, the contact name and address is ‘Smart Growth America’.  



The Treasure Valley Partners formed a non-profit 501-C3 organization.

 The Partnership was awarded a $510,000 grant from the FHWA for the development of a regional approach to growth issues and preservation our quality of life.”

“One of the most important accomplishments of the Partnership was the successful conclusion of the Treasure Valley Futures: Alternative Choices for the American West project the $510,000 grant from the Federal Highway Administration.

The Partnership will host a regional forum for other elected officials from counties neighboring Ada and Canyon Counties. The goal of the forum is to inform these officials of the work the Partnership is doing and to cultivate future Partnership members. The Partnership will continue to look for assistance on outreach as the year continues. The members believe that it will be crucial to form many "partnerships in order to accomplish the outlined goals.

[ It seems to this writer that it is fundamentally corrupt for the elected officials of a governmental jurisdiction to form a non-profit corporation to apply for a grant to be used (supposedly) for a governmental purpose. ]



Treasure Valley Partners hires Strategic Economics (Dena Belzer) of Berkeley, California to participate in the project on the grant application



Strategic Economics lists a second series of projects in which they list the City of Boise as the client.  In the project description, it says that Strategic wrote the grant application for the TCSP grant from Federal Highway Administration. 

The Federal Highways Administration gave the grant to Treasure Valley Futures (TVF) for the 'Transportation, Community and System Preservation Program.  The purpose shown :

Educate policy makers, advocacy groups, business leaders and citizens about why they should consider all land use and transportation policy decisions in a regional as well as local context and why land use and transportation planning in the Valley must be more closely linked.
[ $510,000 seems like an awful lot of money for an informational project ]

A History document of the Treasure Valley Futures project was found on the website but the items listed as Appendices in the table of contents were missing. 

The Appendices were missing from the History Document even though they were listed in the table of contents:

I.  Grant Proposal

II. Policy and Technical Groups

III. Partnership Agreement

IV. Summary of Selected Regional Projects and Research on Effects of Land Use Patterns

V. Summary of Initial Survey



Treasure Valley Futures hires Doherty & Associates to be the Project Coordinator…. but wait.  Doherty & Associates says that the client was the Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho (COMPASS).  The implication was that Treasure Valley Futures was just a project - not an organization even though Treasure Valley Partners applied for and received the grant for Treasure Valley Futures. 



Brent Coles and Dena Belzer at New York Conference: Congress of New Urbanism.  Subject:  From Neighborhood to Region  Coles is last speech.
Belzer:  Jobs and Housing, Treasure Valley



Communities in Motion ‘vision’ statement was adopted.“We envision a Treasure Valley where quality of life is enhanced and communities are connected by an innovative, effective, multi-modal transportation system.”


March 2004

ITD Article - Eagle, Star spread the wings of growth

EAGLE — West Ada County cities are looking at expanding their borders to take in booming growth surrounding them.

"Star and Eagle leaders plan to meet this week to talk about how their areas of impact – land outside a city that the city has some regulatory and planning authority over – should grow and be managed. And starting next week, Eagle leaders want residents to help map out how the city should grow through 2025."



Blueprint for Growth Project - Consultant Scope of Work

“Development Regulations”   Goal - Intergovernmental Agreement, Binding

Land Development regulations and Ordinances”

“Draft an interim development ordinance that may be adopted at the option of the governing entities that will review the establishment of uses not already in the pipeline that will become non-conforming to the future Transportation and Land Use Guide Plan including corridor right of way, corridors and centers; economic development areas; and agricultural and environmentally sensitive lands.”

“Holding capacity and numbers of dwellings will be summarized by service area for analysis of the demand/capacity implications for other public facilities and services, including: water, wastewater, stormwater, schools, parks and public safety.  Issues of community character and form will be addressed in a qualitative manner." 


April 2004

Announcement of Land Use/Transportation Agreement and the agreement to hire Robert Freilich of Freilich, Leitner & Carlisle to develop the plan and implement the ordinances

[Blueprint for Good Growth has a copy of the Intergovernmental Agreement on their website]. 


Nov. 2004

Freilich Powerpoint Presentation to the Boise City Club

Points in the presentation to focus on -



Flyer - glossy marketing materials to showcase the plan
”Blueprint For Good Growth”



Ada County Highway District gets grant from US EPA for ‘Blueprint for Good Growth’   land use plan for Ada County centered around transportation systems. 

“The grant specifically funds a small amount of the contract devoted to ordinance development”

The grant is only $22,500.  This is such a small amount of money that the only thing that ordinance development could be is merely to figure out where to insert a predefined package of ordinances into the statutes.


March 2005

Idaho Statesman article, Growth planners aim to turn dreams into reality”

“Two pioneering planning programs launched last fall are combining to ensure they don't work at cross-purposes, and later this month local residents will be asked to comment on two models for developing the Treasure Valley over the next 20 years.”


April 2005

Final Plan Communities in Motion and Blueprint for Good Growth

But notice, now the plan is SIX COUNTIES and not just two counties.  


May 2005 Idaho Statesman article - “Blueprint Backers Try to Pump Life Into Plan”

“The project has run into funding shortfalls and delays, which prompted the plan’s backers last week to form a nonprofit corporation called Blueprint for Good Growth, Inc.

"Nonprofit status for Blueprint is necessary for the project to receive contributions from non-governmental organizations," said Boise Mayor Dave Bieter, newly-elected Blueprint president. "And attracting those dollars is essential to make this truly a community-wide effort, with buy-in from the private sector that will share in the benefits of good planning."

[ Here we go again - another Mayor who is also president of a non-profit that can apply for and get grant money from the federal government and private sources.]

July 2005

General Principles for Consortium Steering Committee on Blueprint plan


March 2006

Communities in Motion article, “Avimor to fight in court to build north of Eagle

“The day after Boise challenged Ada County’s approval of the Avimor planned community, Avimor’s parent company said they would fight in court and two cities had said that Boise had jeopardized a regional planning effort”.


April 2006

Idaho Statesman article, “Eagle to stay on growth panel” (for now)

“Originally, participation in Blueprint was voluntary, and the plan was to offer recommendations for the county and cities to follow when making development decisions. But now Blueprint planners are asking participants to sign an intergovernmental agreement that would require them to adhere to Blueprint recommendations, even if they do not follow each jurisdiction's comprehensive plan or the visions of their elected officials.”


April 2006

Idaho Statesman article, “Planning consultant scolds Blueprint participants”

"Be respectful, stop name-calling and worry about your own problems instead of everyone else's. Those are the messages Blueprint for Good Growth consultant Robert Freilich had for local leaders Thursday.

"I'm laying down the law. I don't want to see an article in the paper, I don't want to see an exchange of letters, I don't want to see anything between anybody from now on that raises personalities or issues or anything else,"said Freilich, adding that such behavior could be the ruin of Blueprint, an $824,500 long-range transportation and land-use plan being drafted by Ada County and its six cities."

[The tone used by Robert Freilich is NOT the tone of a hired consultant talking to city leaders.  That’s a big clue to what’s going on with this business]

“He was referring to a falling-out at a March 9 Blueprint meeting in which Star Mayor Nathan Mitchell announced that his city was withdrawing from the project because the plan "is being used as a political tool" by the city of Boise.”


'Transformation' Regional Supra Public-Private Government

The result for the citizens within the region will be that their local elected officials have been denuded of authority over their city and that an unelected, undemocratic planning commission is now in control of their communities implementing an agenda for special interests.