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Glossary of Terms

Comprehensive Plan: Appendix A

Area of City Impact - Also known as the City’s planning area. It is the land area surrounding the limits of each City, negotiated between each individual City and the county in which it lies. Each City has comprehensive planning authority for its Area of City Impact, but until annexation occurs, zoning and development entitlement is handled by the county.
Buffer - An area within a property or site, generally adjacent to and parallel with the property line, either consisting of existing natural vegetation or created by the use of trees, shrubs, berms and/or fences and designed to limit views and sounds from the development tract to adjacent parties and vice versa. Also commonly used when describing a transitional use, typically office, between residential and commercial or industrial.
Building Code - Legislative regulations that prescribe the materials, requirements, and methods to be used in the construction, rehabilitation, maintenance, and repair of buildings. The City of Meridian, per state statue, has adopted the Uniform Building Code (UBC), developed by the International Conference of Building Officials.
Capital Improvement Program - A process of identifying and budgeting for the public facilities that a jurisdiction will need to construct in order to serve existing and anticipated development. Capital improvement programming is typically done in five-year increments with annual updates. A Capital Improvement Program (CIP) must address the type of project, the location of the project, the cost of the project, the source of funds to finance the project, the agency or department responsible for the project, and the time frame for completion of the project. Capital Improvement Programs are a primary tool of most growth management programs.
Compatible - Land uses capable of existing together without conflict or ill effects.
Conditional Use - A utilization of land having characteristics such that it may be allowed in a particular zoning district only after review by the Commission and Council, and granting of approval imposing conditions deemed necessary to make the proposed use compatible with other uses in the area.
Conditional Use Permit - Permit issued to allow a conditional use.
Cross-Access Agreement - An agreement between adjacent property owners in which internal connections are provided between parking areas in order to improve traffic flow on the street by minimizing the number of access points needed. Cross-access agreements are typically obtained incrementally as a condition of approval for new development. The first one to develop will be required to make an irrevocable offer of cross-access to the adjacent parcel and must design the parking lot to accommodate the access. When the adjacent owner wishes to develop, they will be conditioned to reciprocate with a similar cross-access agreement and complete the access.
Density - The rate of residential development intensity, generally described as a ratio of residential units per acre of land.
Employment Area - An employment area provides a job and employer base large enough to generate agglomeration of ideas and innovation, are dense enough to promote a cohesive and integrated environment with efficient transportation, and include a focus on supporting Meridian families with family-wage jobs. The minimum size of an employment area is 25 acres, it must provide 1,000 jobs with at least 70% that are neither retail or service, and include a minimum of 10 employers. Employment area boundaries align with COMPASS traffic analysis area (TAZ) boundaries. Other verifiable data may be used in substitute for developing areas.
Fair Housing Act - Fair Housing Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, enacted to prohibit housing discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, handicap, sex, and/or familial status.
Fire Flow - The minimum number of gallons per minute that are needed to fight a fire in a structure, for two continuous hours through fire plugs in the near proximity of the structure. Fire flow requirements are established by the national Uniform Fire Code and are a factor in the City’s Insurance Services Office (ISO) rating.
Green Building - Also known as green construction or sustainable building, is the practice of creating structures and using processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building’s life-cycle: from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition.
Hazardous Waste - Waste that poses substantial or potential threats to public health or the environment. There are four factors that determine whether or not a substance is hazardous: ignitability (i.e., flammable), reactivity, corrosiveness, and toxicity
Infill Development - Development on vacant parcels, or redevelopment of existing parcels to a higher and better use that is surrounded by developed property within the City of Meridian.
Last Mile - the last leg of a transportation movement from a transportation hub, such as a bus stop, to final destinations likes places of employment or residence. Solutions vary, but examples include various ride sharing systems such as car, bicycle, or scooters, and on-demand services.
Linear Open Space - This type of open space is longer than wide, typically publicly accessible, generally found along canals, creeks, or linking pedestrian-oriented points of interest, and includes tree canopy and other active or passive natural features offset from multiuser connectivity such as pathways.
Low Impact Development (LID) - A term used in the United States to describe a land planning and engineering design approach to managing stormwater runoff. LID emphasizes conservation and use of on-site natural features to protect water quality.
Placemaking - Placemaking capitalizes on a local community's assets, inspiration, and potential, with the intention of creating public spaces that promote people's health, happiness, and well-being.
Public Facilities and Services - See Urban Services.
Quality of Life - Quality of life refers to the day living enhanced by wholesome food and clean air and water, enjoyment of unfettered open spaces and bodies of water, conservation of wildlife and natural resources, security from crime, and protection from radiation and toxic substances. It may also be used as a measure of the energy and power a person is endowed with that enable him or her to enjoy life and prevail over life’s challenges irrespective of the handicaps he or she may have.
Reclaimed Water - Former wastewater (sewage) that has been treated to remove solids and certain impurities, and then used in sustainable landscaping irrigation or to recharge groundwater aquifers. This is done for sustainability and water conservation, rather than discharging the treated wastewater to surface waters such as rivers and oceans. Sometimes called recycled water.
Implementation Plan - The implementation plan will serve as a roadmap for the City’s success over a period of five years. It will also serve as a tool to communicate the City’s intentions to the community, focus the direction of its financial resources and employees, and ensure that short-term goals and objectives are met in a timely fashion to ensure attainment of the City’s overall vision.
Urban Service Planning Area - Priority planning area where City of Meridian sewer and water facilities and most other services and utilities are available or planned in officially adopted plans.
Urban Services - Services provided by the City of Meridian or established jurisdictions within the City of Meridian, including City of Meridian water, fire protection by Meridian City-Rural Fire District, City of Meridian parks and recreation facilities, City of Meridian police protection, public sanitary sewers owned by the City of Meridian, public transit, schools, storm drainage facilities, and urban standard streets and roads.
Walkable - Development that contains a comprehensive network of sidewalks and multiuse pathways. Development tends to be compact, and diverse, providing varied and plentiful destinations for walking and cycling; destinations tend to be within ¼ of a mile from dwellings without crossing arterial-arterial intersections. Environment is safe and aesthetically pleasing, with open space interspersed throughout development.

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