Is Beautiful Star, Idaho Losing Its Unique Small-Town Charm?
Star, Idaho. In just under a decade, the City of Star, Idaho has transformed into one of the Treasure Valley's most coveted communities. Nestled northwest of Boise, Star has fought hard to conserve the charm of small-town living its known for. Sadly, it looks as though that might change.
Change & Development Through the Eyes of a Local
Having lived in Star for almost a decade, I can personally speak to all of the changes its undergone during that time. Forget measuring development by the year. Nowadays, Star locals measure it by the season.
Farmland is vanishing. Local landmarks like the crazy ranch with the merry-go-round horse next to Star Elementary School are gone. Fun fact: the granddaughter of the widow who owned that ranch used to ride her horse bareback around town with a Slurpee in one hand and her phone in the other. At one point, I was even known as "the girl with the orange BOB stroller" on Star's Facebook page.
That's how close-knit we were as a community. We didn't have much by way of commerce, but life in Star was still awesome. Now, change is sweeping the tiny town off its feet.
Newcomers & New Businesses
Today's newcomers would struggle to recognize the old Star. Between 2022 and 2023, Star commerce has grown leaps and bounds with the addition of 17 new businesses.
In many ways, it's been great. Star residents now have local access to almost anything they need. Gone are the days when you had to drive six miles to Walmart for groceries. We have a Ridley's, an Albertsons, and the O.G. Star Merc that's open every day of the year except on Christmas. Shout-out to Starla and the gang at the Merc!
A Third Gas Station...Seriously?
In other ways, the growth has been frustrating. Residents were recently informed that a third gas station would be built off the intersection of Star Road and State Street. Considering the fact that we already have two within a one-block radius of the new fuel pump, many residents, myself included, are angry.
Of all the businesses Star City Council could have approved for that intersection, why ANOTHER gas station?! This was Star's chance to enhance the ambience and charm of our slow-to-grow main street. It'll soon be ravaged by an oil-stained pavement and a fourth place to buy convenience items and scratch-offs.
What Would You Choose?
I would've chosen a number of other businesses for that location. A locally-owned ice cream parlor would've been fantastic. Teens and families would've loved a fun outdoor place to hang and snack at during the warmer months. Right now, all we have come summertime are the temporary Shave Ice shacks that pop up in loose gravel parking lots. They're cool, but they'd be cooler if they were permanently woven into the fabric of the town.
It's too late to do anything about it now. The third gas station will be completed in no time, and development will keep rolling along. But let's say you had the opportunity to choose another business for Star. What would you choose? Message us on the app with your suggestions!
🌟 Star Stats & Facts
- Established in 1863, Star is one of the Treasure Valley's most senior villages.
- Between 2022 and 2023, 17 new businesses were erected in Star.
- According to World Population Review, the quaint country town in Ada County spans less than 10 miles with approximately 1,118 residents per square mile.
- The 21st largest city in the Gem State, KTVB reports Star's population grew from 5,793 in 2010 to 14,950 in 2022.
- The city's average household income between 2017 and 2021 was $75,120 according to the 2021 United States Census Bureau.
- In 2017, the Star Country Café was voted second-best breakfast in the Treasure Valley. The cozy hometown diner is a local staple and one of Star's most treasured gathering places!