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City to consider Merle Hay Road gateway redevelopment plan

Posted September 06, 2013 in Community Web Exclusives, Johnston, Urbandale

Since the fall of 2012, the City of Johnston has been conducting a planning study for the Merle Hay Road Gateway Area.  The Gateway Area is defined as generally south of NW 55th Avenue along both sides of Merle Hay Road to Interstate 35/80.

As a result of this effort, a draft Merle Hay Road Gateway Redevelopment Plan, including a conceptual redevelopment scenario (see image below) has been assembled and the City is currently seeking public comment on the plan prior to the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council formally adopting the plan and beginning implementation efforts.

The Redevelopment Plan, authored by Hoisington Koegler Group, Inc. (HKGi) as well as a market study prepared by AECOM, which identifies the market constraints and possibilities are available on the City website for review at, see Merle Hay Road Gateway under the “In the Spotlight” section.  A comment form is included on the website that interested parties can complete and return to the City.

Additionally, informational kiosks will be on display at City Hall, the Johnston Public Library, and the Johnston Farmers Market during the month of September.  City staff is also available to meet with or make presentations on the plan to local business and community groups.

As one of only two gateways into the City from Interstate-35/80, this area is a recognizable and critical area of the City, thus this planning effort has been undertaken to ensure the area is developed/redeveloped in a manner that maximizes the potential of the area.  The Redevelopment Plan explores the development/redevelopment potential of vacant and underutilized parcels within the corridor, identifies target uses/markets, explores existing challenges to development and develops implementation strategies the City and/or property owners can undertake to facilitate implementation of the plan.

The tentative schedule is for the plan to be considered by the Planning and Zoning Commission on September 9th and the City Council on September 16th.  Both meetings begin at 7:00 p.m. in the City Council Chambers of Johnston City Hall, 6221 Merle Hay Road.  The public will be offered an opportunity to make comments at both meetings.  Written comments in advance of the meetings are also encouraged, along with completed comment forms, both can be sent to the attention of David Wilwerding, Community Development Director by email at or by mail to P.O. Box 410, Johnston, IA 50131.


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