A document used for city planning was approved with stipulations after recommended changes were presented to council.

Plano City Council opted to include a requirement that staff model and test the proposed downtown changes before any became finalized in the redesigned Street Design Standards document. To comply with the changes, council also adopted several other changes to planning documents and ordinances during the Sept. 11 meeting.

In a nutshell

A part of the recent update was adding land use contexts to the plan denoting four areas: commercial, corner, mixed-use and neighborhood, according to a council memo.

The most recent update to street design in the city was in 2009, but staff have been working on the revised guidelines since 2021, Comprehensive Planning Manager Michael Bell said. The new plan includes other changes, including planning for the ability for residents to petition city staff for traffic calming measures on certain roads, guidance on multimodal facilities and future right-of-way needs.

“This ensures that we’re not limiting ourselves from making important street improvements down the line by not planning for future conditions,” Long Range Lead Planner Drew Brawner said.

The update consolidates street standards into a single document, Bell said, adding it is mostly conceptual.

Dig deeper

Bell said the downtown area will also be a standalone item because of some of its unique features. Proposed changes for the downtown area included in the plan will not take place until a study is complete.

The plan also lays out potential traffic studies developers will be responsible for based on estimated traffic impacts. Four potential courses of action include doing nothing, conducting a traffic engineering assessment, conducting a traffic impact analysis or conducting a regional traffic impact analysis.

“We’ve got this tiered in the ordinance,” Director of Planning Christina Day said. “It’s between 50 and 200 trips before you have to give the engineers any information. We tried to make the impact on the business relative on the size and scope of the changes they are proposing.”

As part of adopting most of the Street Design Standards, council repealed obsolete transportation planning governance and amended the Plano Comprehensive Plan, the Subdivision Ordinance and the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance.

What’s next?

Staff will model and test the proposed downtown changes, which will take place over a six-month period. The findings of the downtown traffic flow will be presented to council at a future meeting with no changes taking place until the review is complete.

City Manager Mark Israelson said staff understand the direction to be done with a computer model and physical changes for traffic flow conditions.