Plano City Council members approved changes to three plans that help guide city planners in identifying future park spaces, trails and facilities needs.

The Parks, Recreation, Trails and Open Space Master Plan—last updated in 2018—was repealed and replaced during the July 24 meeting. In corresponding moves, the Plano Comprehensive Plan received two updates because of the updated parks master plan and changes to the facilities and infrastructure policy.

What you need to know

The parks master plan receives an update every five years, said Kendall Howard, the city’s consultant from Halff. Updated map elements, such as the designation for potential parks or open spaces in the city, were included in the refresh along with information about future needs for new and existing facilities.

The document does not obligate the city to spend money for park facilities, Howard said. A memo provided to council indicates the document helps the Plano Parks and Recreation Department maintain its accreditation.

In addition to updating the parks master plan, council members also approved changes to the city’s comprehensive plan regarding future land uses, bicycle transportation, and the facilities and infrastructure policy.

In their own words

“At its core, it’s a long-term action plan,” Howard said. “It’s not a funding document; it’s just identifying the needs and vision going forward, implementation of all the actions found within the park system plan made with council approval, and funded with voter-approved costs.”

What else?

In the parks master plan, Council Member Julie Holmer asked about downtown areas and if the city was committed to funding any projects in the area. Parks and Recreation Director Ron Smith reiterated the city was not obligated to fund a parks project downtown, but it was an area where staff was looking to add more green space.

“The map is our best effort to try to identify parcels that could be available or could be identified as potential park land,” Smith said.

Planning Director Mike Bell also presented changes to the city’s facility and infrastructure policy, adding four new directives and renumbering the existing five. The guidelines in the policy help the city plan and implement improvements to facilities and infrastructure.

Editor's note: The city consultant's firm was updated to be accurately identified as Halff