Local developer adding both rural, urban housing to tight market
By JOHN O’CONNELL email@example.com May 19, 2021
Local developer Lyn Yost has separate residential projects in the works catering both to buyers seeking to live in an urban setting with modern amenities and those who prefer a quiet, pastoral lifestyle.
In the midst of an acute local housing shortage, there’s unmet demand for housing of all types. Despite skyrocketing costs of building supplies, developers such as Yost have been extremely active lately, adding new housing inventory that’s been selling faster than it can be built.
The buildout, however, has brought its own growing pains, as homes are springing up where residents have long enjoyed the elbow room of living adjacent to empty lots and open fields. In Chubbuck, Yost is behind a large, multi-use development called Northside Crossing at New Day, where crews are now building a network of themed city parks to be connected by more than 7 miles of paved trails. The first dozen homes, located within the development’s “55 and active” neighborhood, have either been completed or are under construction.
A few miles to the north, in the Tyhee area of unincorporated Bannock County, Yost’s planned Mountain View Estates subdivision will offer buyers 3-acre lots with pastures for raising a few horses or personal livestock.
Plans for Mountain View Estates call for 48 homes to be built on a 152-acre farm field southeast of Philbin and Reservation roads. The land has been farmed by the Loveland family.
“I feel like I’m doing it as right as possible without creating too high of a density of an area,” Yost said. “It does help 48 new families that want to maybe get a horse, have a couple of cows, have some organic feed and enjoy Idaho for what it is.”
Laura Lundquist and a couple of other property owners who reside near the Mountain View Estates site have circulated a petition in opposition to the project, signed by 57 neighbors as of Monday afternoon. Lundquist considers Mountain View to be a prime example of urban sprawl that will ruin the quality of life for current residents who “have their heart set on living in the country.”
“It may not be illegal but it is immoral and unethical what they’ve done,” Lundquist said.
Yost will present the concept for Mountain View Estates to the Bannock County Planning and Development Council at 5:15 p.m. Wednesday at the council’s office, located at 5500 S. Fifth Ave. Seating is limited for the public hearing, which will also be broadcast via Zoom. The meeting agenda also includes a separate request by another individual to rezone 27 acres of farm land at Rio Vista and Tyhee roads to residential suburban, although no accompanying proposal for development has been submitted for that parcel.
In a letter she wrote to the council, Lundquist requested that Yost’s minimum lot size at Mountain View be increased to 10 acres. She cited concerns about noise, light pollution, loss of habitat and intrusions on peace and privacy.
Yost noted that the county identified the agricultural ground from Chubbuck to the Tyhee area as being well suited for rural-residential zoning in its comprehensive plan update last year.
“A lot of people want this country living,” Yost said. “We’re addressing a market need and doing it in a very responsible way. It will be a well-built, well-organized subdivision.”
Yost won’t be involved in building homes on the lots he’s offering, but he envisions the homes will be priced at $500,000 to $600,000 each. Yost is also planning a pedestrian bridge over a canal that bisects the proposed subdivision’s site to make the neighborhood friendly for people walking, biking or riding horses.
Yost said his neighborhood will be adjacent to another developer’s comparably sized residential project.
Within Chubbuck city limits, Yost’s Northside Crossing project will take advantage of a new municipal creative community zoning designation, allowing for a wide variety of housing types to be built at a high density, but with a large expanse of open space set aside for communal amenities.
His 226-acre Chubbuck development will also include commercial space. Sterling Urgent Care, for example, is scheduled to break ground later this week, Yost said.
Northside Crossing is one of five developments planned within the larger New Day project, which will encompass 1,800 acres.
Yost said 10 homes within his “55 and active” neighborhood sold “before we can even get a roof on them, and we’ve got a waiting list to build.” Paving on division four, which includes traditional housing, was scheduled to commence on Tuesday.
Yost expects to build about 25 to 30 homes per year, and when complete, Northside Crossing will have 600 doors with a mixture of single-family and multi-family housing.
Yost said jogging trails connecting his 36 acres of public park space were also scheduled to be paved on Tuesday. Chubbuck requires builders to either build their own parks or contribute to a municipal fund to support parks. Yost said the value of the parks he’s planning to build will be triple what the city requires.
Yost is planning a large, 10-acre park with several sports fields, as well as several satellite parks. One satellite park will have pickleball courts. Another park will have three or four dozen gardening plots, which will be available to lease for $50 per year, with preference granted to residents of the development. He’s also planning an exercise park, which will include exercise stations with equipment such as pull-up bars and a bench press machine that uses a person’s bodyweight to create resistance. Kiosks will be located throughout the trail network indicating the distance from one park to another for joggers and walkers.
In addition to building material costs rising dramatically, Yost said he’s been warned concrete may be rationed in the coming weeks.
Chase Clark, Bannock County’s building official, said permitting for new construction has increased slightly from last year, despite the rise in material costs.
“If building materials were affordable as they once were we would definitely see a record,” Clark said.
Clark said many people have been getting permits and building foundations but are waiting for lumber, wire and other costs to go down before commencing with construction of structures.
“Any way they can they’re trying to build,” Clark said