COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho — Plans to build 4,500 homes and apartments along Huetter Road in North Idaho are getting pushback from neighbors in the area, as they are worried about what the development could mean for traffic and quality of life.
There was an open house tonight where people could share some of their concerns. The project is called "Coeur Terre," and those homes and apartments would be built over a 20-30 year period.
Some people in the area are already determined to make sure it never happens.
"We will be looking directly across the street at what they are going to be building," Laureen, a Huetter Road resident said. (Laureen declined to provide her last name in her interview).
Laureen says she got a post card in the mail last week. It wasn't from a friend on vacation. It was a developer with big plans for this prairie land.
"I had no idea that 4,500 homes were scheduled to be built on that property.," Laureen said.
Not just homes, but also apartments, schools and businesses on this piece of land off Huetter Road.
"It's a self-sustaining community so that means you don't have to go out to get a gallon of milk, you can go to the local grocery store," Senior Land Planner Brad Marshall said.
Marshall is assisting the developer, Kootenai Land Company.
"Tonight we're here to take public comment or input to what's called the annexation of the property to the city of Coeur d'Alene.," Marshall said.
In a few months, developers will go before the Coeur d'Alene planning commissioner. If it's annexed into the city, it can be developed into a higher density area with sewer and water connections.
"Count me in. I'll be at every single meeting and everything that is involved with this project," Laureen said.
Laureen bought her home a month ago and says no one told her about the plans. She feels duped.
"It all sounds great but they are taking that beautiful land and they are over building," Laureen said. "It could be done responsibly. But, that is going to heavily impact our roads, traffic, which is already a big problem in that area."
"It's a public process and certainly everyone has a right to their thoughts and their feelings, those that have been here a long time and those that have just moved here," Marshall said. "That's why we're getting out and getting public opinion, we're going to incorporate that into our project design and share that."
"This is Idaho and we have a lot of land to expand but the question we have to ask ourselves is the level of expansion something we actually agree with?," another resident said. "Everybody is saying this is a forced need, that's not true. Growth is a choice it's not a requirement. We can choose our growth rates and we can choose how we go forward."
If the plans are approved by the Coeur d'Alene City Planning Commissioner and the city council, construction could begin in two years.