Catherine Ross, Plano Journalist
City council will look at new plans to re-zone 120 agricultural acres at Haggard Farm into a housing development.
Plans are in the works to develop a Plano landmark into a housing development.
Plano was a farming community of about 3,000 people in the 1960s, and a piece of that era remains with Haggard Farm.
"It truly has evolved into Plano's farm," said Rodney Haggard, whose family has owned the land at Park Boulevard and Custer Road since the 1880s.
As Plano developed, land was bought up and developed on every side of Haggard Farm. Today, it stands as a lone agricultural oasis in the middle of suburbia, but Haggard plans to sell off about 120 acres to builder Toll Brothers.
"We thought it was a good time," he said.
Haggard, the fourth generation to make a living from the land, said he has seen Plano evolve from the farming community he grew up in to a city of more than 250,000.
Cows and alpaca at Haggard Farm graze mere yards from the rush of traffic in the heart of the city.
"If we have a cow that gets out or a llama that gets its head stuck in the fence, we get calls," Haggard said.
The plan to sell the land is not finalized.
But it has already stirred up concern from neighbors and the city about adding extra retail space at a time when other, aging shopping centers in Plano struggle to lease space.
"We've tried to be really cautious about creating additional retail zoning, retail development, in areas where we don't think there would be a market to support it," said Phyllis Jarrell, city director of planning.
After that input, plans for retail were replaced by townhomes.
While the idea of selling the farm is bittersweet, it's time for progress, Haggard said.
But the family will keep about 60 acres for personal residences and pasture land for the animals.
"This has been closest to our hearts," Haggard said. "We're just really blessed, we've been able to stay here as long as we have."
The City Council will look at the plans again on Nov. 14.