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State of 208: Meridian's Open Space Survey

Posted at 9:22 PM, May 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-01 00:32:31-04

MERIDIAN, Idaho — When you're one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, it's tough to please everyone when it comes to planning for the future. That's why city leaders in Meridian are asking its residents to weigh in on a survey to guide planners on how to manage the city's disappearing open space.

As Meridian's planning division manager, Caleb Hood has had a front-row seat watching Meridian explode from a sleepy bedroom community to the center of a bustling Treasure Valley. "The last three years have been much like the three years before that and the three years before that. The U-S Census just released that we were the sixth fastest-growing large city, fifty thousand in population this last decade," stated Hood.

So, it only makes sense that the city wants to hear what people think about open space. A growth survey that's just wrapping up at the end of May, is asking residents what they think. Hood explains, "for some, open space means trails and pathways, others it's agriculture land, for others it's active parks, and really this survey really helps us understand what our community members value as far as open space goes, so we can provide that for our community members."

Meridian is only about halfway developed today. So will major projects like the Village at Meridian, Linder Village, and Ten Mile Crossing define what Meridian is becoming? "I like to think it's one of our trademarks if you will, in Meridian we have a lot of entertainment venues." That will include a new development on the southwest corner of Eagle and Ustick roads, resort-style athletic club and spa. "I've heard it's a YMCA on steroids basically, indoor, and outdoor pools, workout facilities, yoga studio, it's resort membership type of athletic club."

And as far as the future goes? Hood put it this way, "we have been almost if not as busy, more busy than in 2005 when we were growing our fastest. So I don't know what the future holds. If I had that crystal ball I probably wouldn't be doing what I'm doing, but Meridian's a great place to live, the Treasure Valley is a great place to be so I can see this growth happening into the future even with the pandemic."