Mixed opinions over more new homes in Meridian's largest subdivision

Mixed opinions on development in Meridian.

MERIDIAN-- Every day, more and more roofs continue to pop up in the fastest-growing urban city in Idaho.

Paramount subdivision is one of Meridian's largest, and it will soon be home to nearly 200 more homes. But the construction isn't coming without opposition. The developer, Brighton Corporation, is building two new communities on nearly 40 open acres.

The land has sat empty since Paramount was built in the early 2000's. It was originally zoned for commercial and residential, but now is just going to have houses - which is upsetting to some neighbors.

KTVB watched and listened to the archived Nov. 15 Meridian City Council Meeting where we found public testimony on the re-zoning of this land.

"To change the zoning now especially - apparently without much of a compelling reason - is unjust and a classic bait-and-switch for homeowners that are already there," one concerned neighbor, Elizabeth Davis, told the Meridian City Council on Nov. 15.

Some neighbors at the meeting told the City Council that when they bought their homes they were anticipating a community-oriented development - and not more houses.

"This type of pedestrian-friendly area with commercial, retail and community businesses is really what Paramount needs," Davis added.

"Paramount does not need more people. That's basically it," one neighbor, Stephen Chrysler, told the City Council.

But Brighton Corporation told KTVB that with the new Veranda Assisted Living being built in Paramount, it would be more ideal for a multi-generational community to be built next to it.

The city of Meridian approved Brighton Corporation's application to change the empty lot from CC (Community Business District) and TNC (Traditional Neighborhood Center - with retail, commercial, and community services to meet the needs of residents) to strictly residential (R-15).

"This was not part of the initial Paramount overall application," Associate City Planner Sonya Allen told KTVB. "The developer didn't feel it was feasible to develop commercial uses on this property due to the lack of access to the state highway - Chinden Boulevard."

City planners and the City Council feel the re-zone is a good move and fits the medium density and mixed-use allowance in Meridian's Comprehensive Plan.

"I think it integrates nicely with the single-family residential development to the south, the density," Allen added.

Allen says there will be 196 homes: 98 two-story attached homes for families in a community called Cadence, and 98 single-story attached homes in an age-qualified, 55-and-over community called Encore.

But some neighbors told the City Council that's too many people.

"We can't afford to keep putting the schools in jeopardy," one concerned resident, Karen Pestka, said.

"I object to it on the grounds that the schools are overcrowded," Chrysler told council members. "And the roads in the neighborhood - there's too much traffic."

But planners and developers say Cadence and Encore will produce less traffic than businesses would. People will be getting to their homes from collector streets, not the busy and congested Chinden Blvd.

KTVB knocked on several doors in Paramount on Thursday; many people said they don't have an opinion. It is apparent that there are mixed opinions over this project.

One resident, Joshua Daniels, told our reporter Morgan Boydston on Facebook that he thinks Cadence and Encore are a good blend and they offer living options for people at different stages in life.

Brighton Corporation says they plan to start construction in mid-2017.

Copyright 2016 KTVB


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