Catherine Ross, NBC 5 Collin County Reporter
New homes are being built in Collin County not far from the Richardson and Plano police training center.
Developers may soon break ground on many as 70 new single family homes, thanks to a vote by Plano City Council members overturn a Planning and Zoning recommendation.
According to Rick Fambro, owner and president of Fairway Group Real Estate in Plano, the development, which was originally zoned as part of the city’s Research and Technology district, is one of several recent zoning changes to accommodate more residential housing in the East Plano area.
“Demand for residential housing in East Plano has improved dramatically,” he said, citing an improved economy and the lack of available development-ready land on the city’s east side.
However, the land is also about a quarter-mile away from a firing range, used and operated by the Plano and Richardson police departments.
“You never know about a stray bullet – there is a possibility,” said David Bowlin of Murphy, who says he would have to think “more than twice” about buying a home in that development.
“That would be similar to living next to a highway or living next to the DART.”
Fambro, who had been marketing the property for about seven years, admits the land was a tough sell.
However, he says, with sound insulation improvements made to the range, developers started to show more interest.
“It was dramatically different,” Fambro said. “It was a muffled sound – it didn’t hurt your ears like it did before.”
Plano Police spokesman David Tilley says the department has seen a few residential develops encroach into the space around the range.
“There’s no risk what so ever as far as safety concern out there,” Tilley said. “We understand and anticipated there would be some growth and that’s why we’ve made necessary adjustments to try to account for any type of residential area.”
Tilley added that the department has also looked at studies involving completely enclosing the range.