‘Something the community can be proud of’: Meridian approves apartments, commercial spaces

Hayley Harding
·2 min read

Brighton Development just got a green light to develop dozens of new commercial buildings at a popular Meridian intersection, one piece of a larger approval from the Meridian City Council to help build up the area.

The council on Tuesday approved a new development agreement for 308 acres along Ten Mile Road between Interstate 84 and Franklin Road.

Development agreements act as a framework for a developer — they may vary slightly from a city’s set planning standards in order to meet the goals of a specific area. In Brighton’s agreement, the council agreed to allow taller buildings than previously approved for the area — up to six stories — as well as small floor area ratios and different street and landscape designs.

By approving a single development agreement for the whole area, the council allowed for a more uniform project. Otherwise, each piece would have to be approved individually, which can add time to a project and up the cost.

The council also approved a preliminary plat for 85 lots, 74 of which will be commercially zoned. Nine of the remaining lots were approved at R-40, or high-density residential zoning that allows between 15 and 40 dwellings per acre. The remaining two lots are common lots.

The new buildings would all be in addition to several projects nearby that are already built or in the process of development, including a five-story building for Paylocity, a four-story building for AmeriBen, apartments and several other retail and service providers.

The end goal? To make the area more closely line up with the 2007 Ten Mile Interchange Specific Area Plan, which calls for a space with both residential and commercial spaces as “a key to Meridian’s long term prosperity.”

In the application for the rezone and plat, the developer said “many of the objectives ... are unachievable” because it was made at a time that didn’t recognize the population demographics of the area. The developer also noted, however, that the larger goal is possible.

That means the project includes amenities such as pedestrian walkways that range from 8 to 10 feet in width, part of a larger network designed to allow people living in the area to get to nearby jobs quickly, as well as a central community space. That space, requested by the city’s planning and zoning commission, could be an amphitheater or a plaza, although plans are not set in stone.

“It’s something I think the community can be proud of,” Council Member Brad Hoaglun said right before the council unanimously voted to approve the requests. “I know when I come up the freeway and get on the Ten Mile exit and look at that, I go, ‘Oh, that’s Meridian! That’s part of our community.’”