North Texas

A Once Controversial Development Gets Another Chance in Plano

A year after protests from some neighbors helped defeat a zoning change request for a new development in Plano, the developer is back with a modified plan. It received preliminary approval on Monday night.

Plans for the proposed mixed-use development at the southwest corner of State Highway 121 and Rasor Boulevard in Plano originally called for around 400 apartment and retirement living units. Hundreds of neighbors signed a petition against the proposal last year, saying it would increase traffic and overcrowd local schools. The city council voted down the request for the required zoning change last February.

This year, the developer returned with a variation on the plan. The development, which would be called Mustang Square, still includes plans for a movie theater, community hall, offices and retail. But the developer took out the apartment and retirement units and is instead proposing less than 100 town homes. The homes would be offered for sale, according to a representative of developer Poorvesh Thakkar.

The elimination of apartment units in favor of a smaller number of town homes satisfied one neighbor who was against Mustang Square last year.

“This was one of the big issues that brought a lot of people out,” said Badrinath Singh.

Singh lives in a nearby neighborhood and initially protested the plans last year. He says he’s since changed his mind after the developer reached out to neighbors to come up with a compromise.

Singh says other developers in North Texas should take note.

“It could be a win-win for both developers as well as the community members, something which could help the community or the neighborhoods,” said Singh. “And hey, they have the backing of the community then.”

“I believe the developer really heard people’s concerns about the density,” said Plano’s Director of Planning Christina Day.

Day says city staff is satisfied with the new plans for Mustang Square, including a food truck park proposed by the developer.

“He is including a substantial amount of open space,” said Day. “The quality of the streets including the trees and wide sidewalks. There will be a uniqueness to this development that is not typical to a residential and commercial corner in Plano.”

The property is already zoned for Regional Commercial development. The city would have to approve a change to allow single-family residences and a food truck park.

Monday night, the six members of the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously voted to recommend approval of the zoning request. The full city council would still have to agree.

If the council approvals the zoning change later this month, Thakker says he would expect construction on Mustang Square to start later this year.

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