Plano city council members approved a new mixed-use development proposal on land owned by one of Plano's oldest families late Tuesday night.
The 124-acre piece of farmland immediately fronts the east side of the Dallas North Tollway between Windhaven Parkway and Spring Creek Parkway. It has been in the Haggard family since 1856 - since before Plano was a city - and remains one of the largest pieces of undeveloped land in Plano.
“Our goal is to have a signature development all over the farm. We don't want anything that is detrimental to anybody," Rutledge Haggard said at a Plano Planning and Zoning Commission meeting last month.
He sought to reassure residents who voiced concerns about the development plan, which consists of entertainment and green space, a hotel, a restaurant, commercial buildings and housing.
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Some residents and council members don’t want to see more apartments going up, and said they were concerned about traffic and congestion in Plano.
"We are already at 41% rentals in the city," said council member Shelby Williams, who voted against the development. "That is a massive number for North Texas. That is a massive number of rentals for North Texas. It may be normal in Manhattan, but it’s way out of balance here."
"There’s a significant desire by the citizens of Plano for you guys to not approve this," said Plano resident John Donovan, one of more than a dozen people who spoke out against the development. "Now, I will say some of the drawings and everything [of the mixed-use proposal] they’re gorgeous. It's beautiful looking stuff. But the bottom line is we don’t need any apartments."
At one point, former city council candidate Steve Lavine, who sits on the board of the Avignon Windhaven Homeowners Association, was against the project -- the development is adjacent to Haggard Farms. But after seeing other plans, he said this is the best they will get.
“We have in fact seen ones that are much denser, include far more apartments, far more office development, far less green space,” Lavine said.