Thursday, February 22, 2024

EDITORIAL: Something massive this way comes

| January 20, 2023 1:00 AM

On one side are the yellow and red lighters.

These are the residents who foresee, at least, a slow-rolling tidal wave of undesirable change to, at most, a wave so high and so powerful that it will destroy life as we know it in and around Coeur d’Alene.

On the other side, green lighters are mostly people who already live here under some form of housing duress and people who want to move here but can’t find a place to live.

The villain or hero, depending on which way your traffic light flashes, is Coeur Terre.

Haven’t heard of it? Then turn off your TV for just a dang minute and listen up, because Coeur Terre would make life across North Idaho much better for some people and much worse for others. Know this: If approved, it will impact you for decades to come.

Coeur Terre awaits its own green, yellow or red light from the Coeur d’Alene City Council after the city’s planning and zoning commission unanimously approved the massive project three months ago. With the Council’s blessing, here’s what’s headed this way:

• A 442-acre site with a variety of about 2,000 housing units, businesses and restaurants, 18 acres of parks, 4 miles of trails and land for two public schools inside the western edge of Coeur d’Alene city limits.

• Over the next two to three decades, the project could swell to about 1,000 acres, the remainder of the buildout in Post Falls. All told, Coeur Terre would provide about 4,500 residences to an estimated 10,000 people.

For now, the project seeking Coeur d’Alene City Council approval is north of Interstate 90, south of west Hanley Avenue, east of Huetter Road and west of Atlas Road.

The Press has already written extensively about the project, and the newspaper has also published a number of letters to the editor and other opinion pieces. Coeur Terre is not a secret, but if it’s OK’d, you can bet your bippy that somewhere not far down the road, full-throated throngs will screech that city fathers pulled a fast one, approving a massive project in nefarious fashion behind ulterior motives.

Well, city fathers and project planners have been upfront as the pieces of Coeur Terre have gradually come together. And the brightest spotlight yet will shine at 4 p.m. on Feb. 7. That’s when the City Council will conduct a public hearing on the project in the city library’s community room. A vote could happen that night.

Here’s hoping that if you weren’t paying attention before, you are now.