COMPREHENSIVE PLAN: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

THE VALUE OF PLANNING

Since 2011, when the last Comprehensive Plan was adopted, the City of Meridian has changed significantly. While much of this change has been positive, the City faces challenges in accommodating additional growth. This Plan sets forth the framework necessary for orderly growth and development reflecting the communities values today, while anticipating the needs, wants, and desires of later generations. Without guided growth and development, overcrowding, congestion, safety, community identity, and an overall deterioration of the current quality of life and living may result.

Meridian’s Comprehensive Plan is a long-term policy document for the community with guiding visions and policies relating to new development, redevelopment, city programs, and services. The Comprehensive Plan policies are used to guide the direction for development in Meridian. It is a dynamic document designed to reflect the community vision as well as adapt to changes in technologies, demographics, growth patterns, values, and transportation needs.

The goal of the 2019 Comprehensive Plan is to create an effective vision and source document that the general public, developers, and decision makers can reference and utilize to ensure Meridian is a premier place to live, work, and raise a family.

The Comprehensive Plan is periodically updated to ensure that the Plan remains relevant and represents community aspirations, reflects market and demographic trends, and is user-friendly. This Plan infuses a fresh focus on creation and preservation of the area’s character, evolution, livability, vibrancy, and connections, all while conforming to the requirements of Idaho Code, Title 67, Chapter 65, the Local Land use Planning Act.

PLAN DEVELOPMENT

A year-long planning process resulted in a Comprehensive Plan document that continues to elevate Meridian as a major population and employment center within the Treasure Valley and one the most desirable places to live in the nation.

  • Is inspired by a grass-roots and citizen-based and collaborative process
  • Defines approach to areas of growth and change
  • Supports a diversity of housing types and for all income groups
  • Cultivates sustainable quality neighborhoods with diverse and context-sensitive amenities
  • Promotes the creation of distinct, engaging places
  • Clarifies land use designations for consistency of implementation.
  • Highlights city services for prioritization of future projects and programs
  • Reinforces the direction of providing an unsurpassed level of parks and recreation facilities
  • Strengthens Meridian’s historic and community character
  • Prioritizes walkability, bikeability, and interconnectedness of mobility systems that promote a healthy environment
  • Encourages multi-modal corridors
  • Embraces emerging trends and technologies in transportation
  • Anticipates demographic changes and plans for an integrated community
  • Addresses livability and service needs for all
  • Encourages partnerships and participation in education to realize the work force we need for the diverse economic base that we desire
  • Aligns transportation modes with population needs
  • Emphasizes environmental stewardship and importance of parks and open spaces
  • Supports existing neighborhoods and future planning efforts that will contribute in ongoing success
  • Provides new tools and ways to evaluate where growth is most appropriate
  • Is accessible in multiple formats, from traditional hardcopy to digitally online

COMMUNITY VISION

The Comprehensive Plan establishes a future vision and desired course of action based on the values and feedback of the community. The community’s vision for Meridian is summarized in vision statements with five over-arching themes. The #MyMeridian Vision document embodies these unique qualities and reaffirms a desire to preserve Meridian’s character with the onset of inevitable changes that come with population growth and demand for services. This vision reinforces the core values of guided and strategic growth, jobs creation and sound economics, service provision, sustainable neighborhoods, and being good stewards of the public trust. The vision was developed through a process that offered residents, business owners, and visitors an opportunity to articulate their community values – the City’s design for the future reflects a collaborative vision.

#MYMERIDIAN VISION:

Meridian is a premier, evolving, livable, vibrant, and connected community.


PREMIER COMMUNITY

Making Meridian a Premier Community means putting an emphasis on quality of life through creating safe neighborhoods with diverse housing, open spaces, and amenities that provide varied lifestyle choices, as well as planning for exceptional social, educational, and economic opportunities.

A vibrant, diverse, clean, safe, and secure community in which to live, work, and thrive.

This theme focuses on the relationship between where we work, educate, live, and play, and includes the following elements:

EVOLVING COMMUNITY

Strategically planning for Meridian’s evolving future means implementing land use tools and promoting responsible growth through the provision of services and infrastructure in key areas at the right time. Meridian looks to maintain a balanced mix of land uses based on a holistic understanding of community character, transportation systems, market realities, and utility use.

A community thoughtfully adapting to changes.

This theme supports an efficient and high-quality development pattern, and includes the following elements:

LIVABLE COMMUNITY

Livability represents the overall relationship between the community and the satisfaction they derive from their surroundings. This means strategic use and stewardship of our environment, providing opportunities for recreation, mitigating the impact of hazards, and ensuring health, safety, and welfare of the Meridian community.

A community of family-friendly, healthy, and engaging places.

This theme is grounded in access to and responsible management of Meridian’s parks, open space, and natural resources, and includes the following elements:

VIBRANT COMMUNITY

Being a Vibrant Community centers on the intersection of past and future. The Meridian community values its heritage and strong historic character and charm and hopes to preserve key cultural elements while creating well-designed new places that honor our community’s story, contribute to the past and present, and will serve generations to come. Arts, community events, cultural assets, and celebrations also play a role in making Meridian a vibrant and beloved place with distinct, engaging characteristics.

A community strengthened by historic character and vibrant activity centers.

This theme reinforces quality community design and placemaking, and includes the following elements:

CONNECTED COMMUNITY

Connecting Meridian requires a strong relationship between various modes of travel and destinations, ensuring that the broad system functions safely and efficiently. It also requires efficiently connecting Meridian to its neighbors, facilitating regionally and locally within the City. This means accommodating appropriate modes of transportation by planning, designing, and building facilities for pedestrians, bicycles, public transit, motor vehicles, and freight all the while anticipating for the future needs of additional methods and trends for people, goods, and services to move.

A community of safe and efficient transportation.

Efficiency and innovation can be accomplished through land use planning, street design, and accommodations of new and emerging technologies. This theme includes the following element:

MAKING THE PLAN REALITY

The measure of the Comprehensive Plan’s success is its ability to direct and bring about actions that implement the Plan’s articulated vision and supporting policies. This implementation effort will largely be accomplished through a consolidated list of action items referred to as the implementation plan. This implementation will work in coordination with the City’s Strategic Plan, Comprehensive Financial Plan, Capital Investment Plan, and by updating City Code and the Unified Development Code. City staff will report to City Council on progress made toward completing action items on a regular basis.