Diana Zoga

Future of Controversial ‘Plano Tomorrow' Plan Remains Up in the Air

There was no decision Monday night on a long and contentious fight over Plano's future development vision, but the city council still heard an earful about the long and costly legal battle over the Plano Tomorrow plan.

Plano Tomorrow is a long-term, comprehensive plan approved by Plano City Council members in 2015 that became the subject of a more than three-year legal battle.

A group of citizens sued the city to stop Plano Tomorrow from being implemented, calling for the plan to be approved by the voters.

Monday, the Plano City Council and Plano Planning and Zoning Commission held a special joint meeting to consider repealing the Plano Tomorrow plan and replacing it with the previous plan, adopted in 1986.

A vote was delayed when planning and zoning commissioners voted to table a vote, saying commissioners needed more time to study the possible implications of the 1986 comprehensive plan.

Without a planning and zoning recommendation to the council, the council could not vote on a possible repeal. However, the council did move forward with a public hearing on the matter.

Council chambers were packed with people. More than 30 signed up to speak for and against the Plano Tomorrow plan repeal.

"Thirty-five years in this city, I have watched it grow, I have watched it change and I can honestly tell you that it is a wonderful place to live. It has exactly what the citizens who came here, the majority of them, want in a city," Steve Lavine said.

Lavine is with a recently formed grassroots group called Stand Up 4 Plano. He said repealing Plano Tomorrow would be a mistake.

"If we lose the Plano Tomorrow plan, it means that we will not be able to support the tax base, we will not have the ability to keep our services strong," he said.

But Allan Samara, who was one of the original organizers of a petition that called for a referendum on the Plano Tomorrow plan, said he supported a repeal.

"We think it changes the suburban character into a more urbanized environment. We don't think the people of Plano wanted it," Samara said.

Samara said his group that petitioned for the change disapproves of denser, mixed-use developments that include multi-family housing.

"As far as we're concerned this was as developer-driven plan to enable developers with shadow zoning," Samara said.

Planning and zoning commissioners expect to consider the issue at their August 19 meeting.

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