City Council approves redevelopment plans for McKinney’s Storybook Ranch

Stillwater Capital proposed redeveloping Storybook Ranch into for-rent cottage homes. (Rendering courtesy city of McKinney)
Stillwater Capital proposed redeveloping Storybook Ranch into for-rent cottage homes. (Rendering courtesy city of McKinney)

Stillwater Capital proposed redeveloping Storybook Ranch into for-rent cottage homes. (Rendering courtesy city of McKinney)

Storybook Ranch in McKinney, which provided space for events and gatherings for more than 20 years, received the approval it needed June 15 to rezone its land for cottage homes.

McKinney City Council approved a rezoning request that would allow these smaller homes to be constructed on the property located on about 38 acres at 3701 Custer Road, McKinney.

The applicant proposed for the 38 acres to be divided into two tracts: one portion of the land—about 2 acres facing Custer—will be dedicated to commercial uses, and the other 36 acres will allow for the cottage residential development.

Meeting documents defined a cottage residence as a “building that is designed to be occupied as one dwelling unit and is located on a lot with other similar dwelling units.”

The project includes about 240 units in one-, two- or three-bedroom options available for rent, with oversized bedroom windows, privacy fences and yards.

The residential component of the project is able to be split between the creek, according to a letter to the city from the applicant.

“We plan to add amenities to this creek and make it an important feature of this development,” the letter said.

Per council recommendations from a May meeting, the applicant had made changes to the development plan, including guaranteeing a mixture of units and unit types, including materials used to complete the facade, staff said. Another change was guaranteeing that the cottage homes would not exceed one story in height.

In early 2020, the McKinney Planning and Zoning Commission approved a request to redevelop the land into apartments, but the project was withdrawn following opposition from residents.

The cottage residence project from Stillwater Capital received a letter of support from the nearby residents.

Council liked the look of the new project overall and appreciated the changes Stillwater Capital had made to the development.

“We love to see it when residents come hand in hand with a developer and say, ‘Hey, this is something we want.’ And so you did it the right way,” Council Member Rick Franklin said.

As for as the historic old Western town located at Storybook Ranch, The Bethel Village Foundation from Whitewright, Texas, is looking to preserve the buildings and relocate them to an area east of Van Alstyne and south of Whitewright so they can still be enjoyed.

Kristi Avalos, founder of Bethel Village Foundation, said the cost to move the town will be more than $500,000, which does not include costs to renovate each of the buildings at their new location.

"It's a leap of faith for sure," Avalos said in a news release. “The opportunity to save this Old Western Town and bring it back to life appeared quickly. But I did not think of hesitating before saying yes. We greatly appreciate the public support that we have received. One way or another, we will make this happen."

The foundation has started a GoFundMe page to raise funds for the project. Learn more at this link.
By Miranda Jaimes

Editor, Frisco & McKinney

Miranda joined Community Impact Newspaper as an editor in August 2017 with the Grapevine/Colleyville/Southlake edition. In 2019 she transitioned to editor for the McKinney edition. She began covering Frisco as well in 2020. Miranda covers local government, transportation, business and nonprofits in these communities. Prior to CI, Miranda served as managing editor for The Prosper Press, The Anna-Melissa Tribune and The Van Alstyne Leader, and before that reported and did design for The Herald Democrat, a daily newspaper in Grayson County. She graduated with a degree in journalism from Oklahoma Christian University in 2014.


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