A year after the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Texas announced the Russell H. Perry Animal Care Center and Spay/Neuter and Wellness Clinic in McKinney was set to close, the property is on the path to redevelopment.

On April 19, McKinney City Council approved a request to rezone about 30 acres of land of the former SPCA facility, located at 8411 Stacy Road, to allow for single-family, multifamily and commercial uses.

The property would be divided into three tracts. The first is 12 acres and would consist of townhomes. The second tract is about 13.5 acres that would be developed into apartments, with the final tract on 4.5 acres reserved for commercial development, staff said.

The apartments are being developed by Craig International, located in McKinney. Craig International proposed 18 units per acre for the apartments in buildings varying from three to four stories, with the tallest buildings being on the east side of the property near Rowlett Creek. Both residential communities would be gated, staff said.

“This is a complex and unique development for McKinney, where you're basically trying to marry a townhome development with multifamily development that is surrounded by a significant creek feature on the east side of the property,” attorney Bob Roeder said on behalf of the applicant. “We've tried to make it a walkable community.”

As a result of several meetings with the neighbors to the west of the project site, Craig International is restricting the height of the townhomes adjacent to The Retreat at Craig Ranch neighborhood.

Former McKinney Mayor Brian Loughmiller spoke in favor of the project during public comment. He serves on the board of the SPCA and said this was an important project for the nonprofit.

The SPCA is funded almost entirely through donations, Loughmiller said at the March 22 McKinney Planning & Zoning Commission meeting when the item was considered for initial approval. About two years ago the SPCA had to examine what to do with its McKinney facility, because it was “very expensive to maintain,” Loughmiller said. This was when they began to look at selling the site.

At the same commission meeting, David Craig, the CEO of Craig International and the master planner of Craig Ranch, said the project would “further the vision” of the Craig Ranch community.

“This is the best move for us right now in order for us to continue to operate and be sustainable for many years to come,” Loughmiller said at the April City Council meeting.

He also said the SPCA is looking to remain in Collin County, perhaps opening a storefront that provides more limited services.

Mayor George Fuller said when the process for this project first started, he received a number of opposition emails from neighbors. However, after they met with Craig International, some sent emails to the mayor recanting their previous position.

“Thank you, because that makes things a lot easier on us when the developer takes the time to go out and educate, and meet with the community and engage them,” Fuller said.

Council Member Patrick Cloutier agreed with the mayor’s statements, saying “multifamily is not an easy sell here,” but that this project was a good fit.

“The fact is we need to house people here in McKinney, and no one housing solution is going to be a panacea or a silver bullet for all of us,” Cloutier said.

The project was approved by council unanimously.