The City Council admits a planned $11 million women's prison facility might be too close to homes on City Creek.

Moving the 128-bed institution at least half a mile south in the foothills may be a solution, members said this week.The council's change of heart over the City Creek-Cusick Creek area occurred after a tour of the proposed site, spurred by neighborhood opposition.

Residents fear prison construction would jeopardize an environmentally sensitive area and perhaps lower their property values.

The Cusick Creek property is considered the prime location for the new prison, which will employ 90 people and have an annual payroll of $2 million.

Idaho Division of Public Works and the state Corrections Board wanted the building located on the northern edge of the city-owned Cusick Creek property. The boundary is less than a quarter-mile from homes on City Creek, separated by a gully.

"When you stand on the city ground it doesn't appear the prison would impact homeowners," Council President Karen McGee said. "But from their back yard, they look directly into the prison area. I don't believe anyone took that into consideration."