Much controversy had arisen from the new housing development that was to be built in Boise, Idaho near the Idaho Shakespeare Festival. A crowd gathered at the Boise City Council meeting last week to discuss the project. The subdivision was at first denied by Boise’s Planning and Zoning Commission, however the developer appealed to the city council to change the decision.
Neighborhood residents argue that the development will greatly disturb performances being that the closest house to the festival will only be a mere 620 feet away from the stage. Gary Allen, the attorney representing the nearby neighborhoods argues, “A barking dog can ruin a ‘Hamlet’ soliloquy, a motorcycle can drown the tender moments in ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and a leaf blower or a boom box at a party can spoil the breath-taking finale of ‘Caberet.” Residents believe that this will ultimately lead to the closing of the theater.
On the other hand, the developers say they have spent $10,000 on two different sound studies in an effort to ensure that sound would not be an issue. Heath Clark, the lawyer representing the developer stated, “Why would they invest millions of dollars in the property if they didn’t think they could have a saleable product in end?” The developers also ensured that other accommodations will be made to ensure cooperative environment between the subdivision and the Shakespeare Festival.
For now, the answer is mediation. Those for and against the proposed subdivision will be entering into the mediation process. Here, City Council members will try to find a compromise allowing both the development and festival to co-exist without issues.