Plano Seeks Feedback on "Ambitious" Downtown Plans

City recently made public its 10-year plan to expand downtown

By Catherine Ross
|  Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013  |  Updated 6:30 PM CDT
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The Plano City Council's vision for the next 10 years includes some big ideas and changes for the city.

Catherine Ross, NBC 5 Collin County Reporter

The Plano City Council's vision for the next 10 years includes some big ideas and changes for the city.

The city of Plano wants public input on its "ambitious" 10-year vision for downtown.

The city is looking for comments in four areas -- development near public transportation corridors, road improvements, redevelopment projects and historic preservation.

One of the items, "continuing the momentum" of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit rail lines and the proposed Cotton Belt Line, focuses potential office and mixed-use development near those transportation corridors.

The road item specifically mentions a project to improve 15th Street near U.S. 75 that could even allow for bike lanes.

The city said it is also considering redevelopment projects, specifically areas around existing DART stations, and is looking at historic preservation.

The city, small businesses and private developers have poured resources into the East Plano area over the past decade or so.

In the past five years, the changes have been noticeable, said Erik Padilla, manager of the Fillmore Pub.

"The face of downtown looks newer, more fresh," he said. "I think it's been a mix between the city and local business owners."

The work is far from over. The City Council's vision includes expanding downtown to the north and south along the path of Dallas Area Rapid Transit's Red Line, creating potential for more mixed-use development and urbanization, much like what's happened in downtown.

Monique Lewis, a resident of the Douglass Community, an area of older homes near downtown that the city is eyeing as a hot spot for preservation or revitalization, said that the area needs the help, but people must also get involved with the city.

She said she likes the idea of increasing her neighborhood's connection to downtown by adding sidewalks and other features.

"They should consider upkeep," she said. "Just as much as they're doing downtown, they need to consider the community since it is attached. You can't ignore it."

The city has posted the four items for comment on its Engage Plano portal, a website it uses to communicate with the public.

More: Downtown Plano Vision on the Engage Plano portal

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