A team focused on communicating development plans for McKinney's east side had its first council presentation Jan. 5 during a work session.

Assistant City Manager Kim Flom shared information about projects taking shape in east McKinney, including the city’s new municipal center, a master plan for Old Settler’s Park, Tupps Brewery relocation, and infrastructure and mobility studies.

“The city for the last couple of months has been working on what we're calling a unified communication and engagement strategy,” she said. “Knowing there's a lot going on, we want to make sure that we're telling our story. We want to make sure we're involving our residents and that we're offering sort of a portal, or a place where people can get information.”

A mobility and alignment study is at the forefront of these projects, Flom said, and public engagement efforts for that will begin in the first quarter of the year. Upcoming building projects on the east side include the McKinney Municipal Complex, the Old Settler’s Master Plan and the future implementation of that plan, Tupps Brewery and infrastructure projects, Flom said.

There are also two more initiatives that council had not talked about yet, Flom said. These include a neighborhood preservation study aimed at developing a strategy for protecting the existing neighborhoods and ensuring they are balanced with the upcoming growth as well as arts and culture initiatives. The city does expect to bring that information forward in the first quarter of the year, she said.

The vision for McKinney’s east side stems from plans and public input from the 2004 Comprehensive Plan, the 2006-07 Town Center Study and the One McKinney 2040 Comprehensive Plan, Flom said.

Flom emphasized that any redevelopment or new construction should be balanced with preserving existing neighborhoods in the area.

“As a city we believe that our existing neighborhoods are vital to a thriving future for the area,” she said.

The purpose of the East McKinney Project Outreach and Communications Team is to “develop a unified communication plan and public engagement process to inform and solicit feedback from the citizens of East McKinney regarding upcoming redevelopment projects and planning initiatives for the area east of State Highway 5,” city documents stated.

The team is charged with creating an internal public engagement guide, developing a dedicated website for all east McKinney projects, setting up a Notify Me, having targeted communications, setting up monthly EMPOCT meetings and giving quarterly updates to council, per Flom’s presentation.

The website will have regular updates and information about projects on the east side, Flom said. McKinney is also seeking open two-way communication to hear from residents and stakeholders and to adjust processes as needed based on feedback. One such survey is currently active on the website, seeking community input on the upcoming Municipal Community Complex to help the city's design team better understand the site and surrounding areas.

“There are a lot of exciting things happening, but a building is not going to go up tomorrow—we're actually at a great stage to do this,” Flom said. “A lot of these projects are at their beginning stages. We're at the perfect time to make sure we have that umbrella to communicate. All of these projects will take time, and the different engagement pieces will happen over probably the next several years.”

Editor's note: This article has been updated to include additional information.