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After many years and multiple attempts at development, the parcels of land on the northwest side of Meridian Rd. and I-84 could soon be full of homes and retail.
A joint public hearing for two new related developments proposed for the area happened at the Nov. 21 Meridian City Council meeting.

Hawkins Companies is proposing a commercial development with two big retail stores and several other smaller shops and pads for the area. The development is designed to be complimentary to Engineering Solutions’ Tanner Creek Subdivision proposal. Tanner Creek is designed to have 83 single-family homes, 45 townhomes, and 280 apartments to be built out in phases along I-84. The apartment portion of the project is not to be occupied until the Linder Rd. overpass is built.
The public hearing and subsequent deliberations on these proposed projects lasted over four hours and resulted in a split decision from the city council with Meridian Mayor Robert Simison having to cast the tie-breaking in-favor vote on both proposals. Councilmembers Joe Borton and Liz Strader were absent from the meeting.

Public weighs in with PowerPoints

For the commercial development to progress, Hawkins Companies requested an annexation of some of the property into city limits, a change to the city’s comprehensive plan, as well as a rezone of the property to commercial use.
Engineering Solutions requested a rezone of its property to varying residential densities, the approval of a preliminary plat, and a conditional use permit for the apartments.
According to Ethan Mansfield, a pre-development project manager for Hawkins Companies, in addition to the retail stores and shop space, the Hawkins project would have potential space for a sit-down restaurant and a hotel. A pedestrian and bicycle path, with a bridge going over Ten Mile Creek, would be constructed between Tanner Creek and the Hawkins development to tie the developments together and encourage people to walk or ride to the shops instead of driving.
Opponents of the developments, many of them equipped with PowerPoints, voiced concerns about adding more traffic to an already congested area, making a change to the zoning which departs from the comprehensive plan, and putting a strain on West Ada School District by bringing in more students. Many were concerned about the effect the developments would have on nearby Waltman Ln. as the collector street would serve as the sole access road to the development. Mansfield said Hawkins is “committed” to working with ACHD on a design that wouldn’t impede traffic in excessive amounts.

Coming down to a tiebreaker

Concerning the commercial development, Councilmembers Brad Hoaglun and John Overton voted in favor of Hawkins Companies’ requests while Councilmembers Luke Cavener and Jessica Perreault voted in opposition. Simison broke the tie. 
The vote was identical for the Tanner Creek requests.
Cavenar described the proposals as “a really cool project” planned for an “exhausted corridor.” He said it was set up to have “a unique ability to negatively impact the quality of life” for many of Meridian’s residents, but did not blame the applicants for it. Simison stated this was the best thought-out project that had come before the council and questioned if the council didn’t decide to move forward with it, what they would hold out for instead.
The Tanner Creek property has come before the council twice before under different — albeit similar — development applications. Those were both denied in 2018 and 2020, according to city staff, because at the time they were inconsistent with future land use maps.
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