A proposed 116-acre conversion of southwest Idaho farmland to 1-acre home lots would alter some irrigation infrastructure but would not impact the segment of a canal that lies on part of the property.
The Canyon County Planning and Zoning Commission on Oct. 18 endorsed Lone Star Land LLC’s proposal to rezone the property near Caldwell from agricultural to R-1 residential, characterized by an average of one lot per acre. The Canyon County Board of Commissioners is scheduled to consider final approval Dec. 18.
Retired farmer Richard Huff owns the property, which in the past year produced wheat and field corn. His son, Sam Huff, said the property includes an area where another farmer grows echinacea flowers on contract, which will continue until the contract expires.
The Huff family owns about 300 acres of farmland. The Lone Star portion is sloping and sandy, and not as productive as the rest, Sam Huff said. The development would not affect irrigation on neighboring properties, he said.
On-site water infrastructure includes a well, three gravity irrigation ditches and Deer Flat Canal. Any crossing of the canal, bordered by federal easements on two sides, would require a crossing agreement among the developer, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and Boise Project Board of Control, a Canyon County Planning and Zoning staff report said.
The Boise Project stores water behind two of the three Boise River dams, operates a large canal system, services five irrigation districts and operates the Lake Lowell off-site reservoir.
Plans call for removing ditches and replacing the gravity irrigation system with a pressurized system, said project representative John Cotner of Cotner Building Co. Nothing would be done to Deer Flat Canal.
The staff report said the site is about 350 feet from the Caldwell city limits and within the city’s impact area, where growth is expected. Twelve subdivisions, with a total of 279 lots and a 0.52-acre average lot size, are platted within a mile of the Lone Star site.