The City of Meridian actively works to support implementation of the Destination Downtown plan. Created by MDC (the City's Urban Renewal Agency), Destination Downtown is a long-term vision plan for the future of Downtown Meridian. Focused on identifying and implementing strategies and opportunities to strengthen Downtown's role not only within the Meridian community, but the Treasure Valley as a whole, the City supports Destination Downtown through a variety of policies, plans, and special opportunities.
Whether you’re an existing stakeholder looking to expand, or looking to develop something new, this web page is intended to provide an overview of the various tools that support the unique opportunities to live, work, and play in Downtown. As a general rule of thumb and if in question, it's always best to speak with Planning Division staff:
Contact a City planner at: 208.884.5533
Use of Streetscape | For example, outdoor dining
Street Improvements | How street improvements will be designed
Redevelopment | Land use, zoning, and building discussions
Building Construction & Modification | For new construction or modification of existing structures
MDC (Meridian Development Corporation) | External Web Link
Interested in that area between back of curb and face of building (aka sidewalk)? Looking to do anything from outdoor dining to having a sidewalk sales event? Refer to the Encroachment Permit FAQ linked below to get a brief rundown on the need to knows, before using public right of way for private use. All elements within the streetscape need either an Encroachment Permit or license agreement. If the FAQ does not seem to apply, or does not contain the information you are seeking, contact a planner who will assist you.
Encroachment Application | Web Link (Planning Applications)
If you're interested in learning more about pedestrian or bicycle connectivity, or how to redevelop the sidewalk, parking, or streetscape in front of a property, consult with the Downtown Meridian Street Cross-section Master Plan. The City, in coordination with MDC and the Ada County Highway District, has worked to create this long-range plan to provide specific guidance for the redevelopment of the public realm in Downtown. If you're looking for even more information, check out the City of Meridian Comprehensive Plan, or contact a planner.
Downtown Meridian Streetscape Design Standards (see Section 10, Streetscapes) | PDF
City of Meridian Comprehensive Plan | Web Link
The City has adopted Land Use and Zoning policy and code that allows for greater higher density, greater flexibility, relaxed parking, and other benefits suitable for an urban environment, intended to make redevelopment within the downtown area easier.
Future Land Use:
The City of Meridian Comprehensive Plan designates the downtown area as "Old Town" on the future land use map. Areas covered by this future land use may be eligible for Old Town (O-T) zoning (yep - same name). The O-T zone allows for a great number of residential and commercial uses, and has relaxed setbacks and a variety of other benefits. See the City of Meridian Comprehensive Plan, Chapter 3, for additional information on the Old Town land use. To verify a property is within the Old Town designation, see the Future Land Use Map Link map below.
City of Meridian Comprehensive Plan | Web Link
Future Land Use Map | Web Link
Zoning is the primary tool by which the City determines what may or may not occur on a property. It's intended to protect property rights and preserve community, by limiting the activities on a site. No one likes being told what they can or cannot do on their own property, but most people dislike obnoxious uses, neighborhood traffic, and unsafe environments even more. Because of the unique environment that downtowns in general provide for communities, Old Town zoning is much more flexible than other zoning designations. It's best to speak with a planner about zoning requirements, but feel free to check out the links below for further information.
Zoning Map | Web link
City Code (see Title 11, Chapter 3, Article D) | External Web Link
You can also search for detailed information about your property, including current zoning, at the Ada County Assessors website:
Ada County Assessor | External Web Link
If you have a question about a building, it may still be good to first talk with a planner, who can provide you with setback and property use information, but feel free to also contact the Building Division. Building professionals can provide you with any relevant code dictating required construction practices. If you're interested in rehabilitating an old structure, remember to ask about Existing Building Code. A licensed Architect experienced with Existing Building Code can help you to identify alternatives to some otherwise expensive retrofits.
Building Department | Web Link