MERIDIAN - Meridian continues to wrestle with how to manage its historic growth, faced once again with the prospect of a big development in a congested area: A new WinCo at Chinden and Linder.
Planning and Zoning turned down the plan as it was proposed Thursday night.
The Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously recommended denial of this proposal the way it is. They feel there's a whole array of issues with the plan, from traffic and connectivity, to the strip mall style design, to how close it is to homes.
It was a full house - lots of public testimony, most in opposition, and the hearing took more than three hours.
Linder Village is slated to be built on farm land on the southeast corner of Chinden and Linder. Anchoring the development would be a 24-hour, 80,000-square-foot WinCo - along with other retailers, restaurants, commercial and residential.
On Thursday night, the developer - DMG Real Estate - requested the city annex the land into Meridian and designate the property to be mixed-use community commercial and residential.
"The area is growing so much and we think it's a great opportunity to do something really nice, we have a nice project," said Dave McKinney of DMG Real Estate. "It's gonna be a great economic boost for this area."
Those opposed say they are in favor of development there and understand it will happen. But they don't feel the size and scale of the development aligns with the city's comprehensive plan.
"If the development is too far ahead of the roads and other infrastructure development then it lessens quality of life here rather than making it better," said David McKinney, who's running for Meridian City Council. "We are all for growth, but if it's allowed to go unchecked and unfettered then it turns the city into something that the people won't necessarily like."
Traffic on Chinden is already a huge concern for people who live near there or drive that route. But the developer says it worked out a deal with ITD to widen Chinden to five5 lanes and are working to add a traffic light.
P&Z's recommendation to deny the proposal will go to the Meridian City Council, which can either uphold the decision or reverse it. Or they can return the proposal back to P&Z for reconsideration.