JUDGE

Plano Planning & Zoning Recommends Citizen Committee Consider Plano Tomorrow Plan Changes

The latest round in a battle over Plano's vision for future development means the Plano Tomorrow plan will likely live on, though it could change.

The city council passed the plan in 2015 as a policy document for three decades of future development.

The plan sparked a lawsuit from a group of Plano residents who wanted the comprehensive plan put to a vote of the people, citing opposition to future mixed use development and apartments in Plano.

A judge ruled in favor of the city last month, though the group said it planned to appeal.

Monday night, a possible repeal of Plano Tomorrow was on Plano's Planning and Zoning Commission agenda. More than 30 people turned out to speak during a public hearing, most in favor of repealing the Plano Tomorrow entirely.

"What's at stake here is the character of the city. Those of us who moved here, moved here for the suburban environment," said Allan Samara, who opposes Plano Tomorrow.

"That means top-notch police, fire, EMS services, traffic mitigation and great schools," said Samara, who starts his appointment to the Planning and Zoning Commission next month. "That's what a suburban environment should be delivering, not an urbanized environment."

"The idea that Plano is going to return to some suburban life that has been gone for decades is not realistic," said Steven Lavine, who supports the Plano Tomorrow plan. "We are a city unto ourselves. Our tax base relies on the business side of our community and we need to recognize that.

"If we do not have continuous growth and resurgence, the taxes for the residents are going to increase to a point that they're not going to be tolerable," Lavine added.

Monday, Planning and Zoning commissioners voted to recommend the city council keep the Plano Tomorrow Plan, but form a citizen committee to consider amending parts of the document.

Christina Day, Plano's planning director, said each council member would appoint two people to serve on the citizen committee.

The city also planned to hire a consultant to work with the citizens committee. Planning and Zoning recommended the committee focus on land use and density aspects of the Plano Tomorrow Plan.

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