In April of 2006 a four-day charrette (a meeting where stakeholders attempt to reach agreement on future plans) was held in Boise. Representatives from seven neighborhoods, The Idaho Conservation League, Idaho Fish & Game, Boise Parks & Recreation, Ada County Parks, Idaho Power, and Boise Planning & Development Services participated in the planning process. This was followed by a two-day meeting a month later and a monthly progress meetings until the final application was submitted in December 2006.
Through the charrette process with the owners and stakeholders, a clear vision of the preferred future for Harris Ranch evolved. That vision is one of pedestrian oriented public streets, plazas, greens, riverfront walks and pathways. Those public streets are lined with, and shaped by, mixed use, pedestrian-oriented buildings. The scale and general character of new development is based, in many ways, on the best elements of Boise’s heritage – the mixed-use shop-front buildings of historic Downtown and the iconic buildings of the agriculture and timber industries.
The specific plan, the code, and design guidelines define an agreement between the community and property owners. The community commits itself to building and maintaining high-quality, pedestrian-oriented streets, squares, plazas, and pathways, while the property and business owners commit themselves to building high-quality buildings that face the public domain with façades scaled to the pedestrian, orienting on-site parking and service functions to the backs of the buildings and the interiors of the blocks.