Merriam collecting public input on new 20-year comprehensive plan

Merriam residents have the opportunity to provide feedback on a comprehensive plan for the future of the city. Photo courtesy of Tom and Debbie Long

The city of Merriam is developing a new 20-year comprehensive plan for land use and development of the city.

Merriam Comprehensive Plan 2040 addresses opportunities for land use, housing, commercial and industrial development, sustainability and the environment, transportation and mobility, parks and recreation, and community facilities and services.

As part of the development of the plan, the city is undergoing a visioning process and collecting resident feedback to hear their thoughts for the future of the community.

Bryan Dyer, community development director of Merriam, said residents will have multiple opportunities to provide input on the comprehensive plan. The first of those opportunities took place during the farmers market last weekend at the Merriam Marketplace.

The next opportunity will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5 during Merriam Drive Live at the Merriam Marketplace, 5740 Merriam Drive. Visitors can find out more information about the planning process, project scope and proposed schedule, and also provide input on preferences and priorities for Merriam land use, parks, housing, employment, transportation and mobility.

Dyer said city staff is working on other opportunities to collect resident feedback and hear about their vision for the future of the city, including a possible survey.

“For these initial couple of outreach efforts, we are just educating folks as to what a comprehensive plan is and how it functions, getting them aware we’re doing this process of getting a new comprehensive plan,” Dyer said.

The city’s current community development plan was adopted by the city in January 2001 and comes to a close at the end of 2020. Dyer said the city followed the comprehensive plan in several areas, most visibly Timber Ridge Villas, a redeveloped residential subdivision near West 67th Street and I-35, and Merriam Village near Johnson Drive and Antioch Road, where IKEA and Hobby Lobby are located.

“The city has done a really good job of following the plan, and the current plan we have in place has done a really nice job of guiding the redevelopment of the city,” Dyer said.

Guiding the process of Merriam 2040 is an advisory committee comprised of residents, business owners and property owners. The committee’s role is to provide feedback on the direction and priorities of the plan, evaluate and consider public input and review drafts of the plan’s components.

The committee will meet several times throughout the coming months to work on the comprehensive plan. The next meeting takes place at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16 on the second floor of city hall. The meeting is open to the public for observation. Below is a list of topics up for discussion during the meeting:

  • An evaluation of the City’s existing plans
  • A preliminary community profile
  • An initial housing analysis
  • An employment and economic analysis
  • An initial analysis of existing land uses
  • Preliminary community assessment of issues and opportunities for Merriam

Dyer expects the city will consider adoption of the new 20-year plan sometime at the end of 2020.