Collin County

McKinney Officials Seek Input on New Master Plan

Cynthia Elliot Vanlandingham has been called the "unofficial mayor" of downtown McKinney.

"Started our business in the basement, 300 square feet on the corner," she said about setting up shop on Virginia Street 27 years ago.

The longtime resident takes pride in how far she's come and how much the bustling square of more than 120 shops and restaurants has grown. 

"When we first came here it was kind of like a ghost town. There were a lot of outlet shops that were here and then stores were closing down," said Vanlandingham, owner of Cynthia Elliot Boutique.

In the historic district, old meets new, like the rest of the city.

Now at 180,000 people and counting, it's time for a new master plan.

"What we know today is only about half of what we will know in the future," Jennifer Arnold, McKinney's planning manager, said.

She's the brain behind One McKinney 2040, the vision to get the city ready for generations to come.

"It really is geared towards future growth and development. So it's really asking the question, if the city of McKinney is going to continue growing, what do we want that growth to look like?" she asked.

It's a question, people living and working in the area will be able to help answer at an interactive open house on Thursday, June 14.

Arnold called the plan a "30,000 foot view" - basically, a big picture look with targeted strategies to follow.

For now, it focuses on transportation and land use, so when developers propose new projects, city officials, will have something to consult.  

"We'll ask ourselves whether or not what these folks want to do is in line with what the city has in mind for itself," Arnold said. "When it's all said and done, the city of McKinney will likely be about 116 square miles in total."

"They said originally that we'd be a land mass larger than Plano, so we knew that was coming. It's just kind of mind boggling to see it happen," Vanlandingham said.

It's change that hasn't been planned for since 2004, when the population was just 86,000.

The city said it welcomes the public's input on the master plan. The open house is Thursday at 6:00 p.m. in the conference center at Collin College.

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