By Cameron Rasmusson
The University of Idaho and Sandpoint officials began discussions Wednesday on the future of the university’s North Boyer property.
With the university planning sell or otherwise dispose of the property, university officials met with the Sandpoint City Council, the Sandpoint Planning and Zoning Commission and the Sandpoint Urban Renewal Agency to start a conversation on mutually beneficial paths forward.
“The best we can do is come up with a proposal that both meets the university’s needs and the city’s needs,” said Mayor Shelby Rognstad.
The city and university plan to engage in a process requesting proposals for possible uses of the property. The public will have opportunities to weigh in through several workshops and other planning session as the process unwinds.
The news that the university planned to sell its Sandpoint property was met with concern by some city residents. Over the past several years, the property has become a common site for recreation and outdoor use, and many were worried by the possible consequences of the property falling into the hands of a private developer.
According to Rognstad, the university’s choice to reach out to the city is a sign of good faith that lends hope for an outcome that suits everyone. He also said the city has time to protect itself through zoning changes and other mechanisms should it be faced with a worst-case scenario.
“Through our own zoning regulations, we can still have significant control over how that property is or is not developed,” Rognstad said.