Citing potentially 'unresolvable' differences, Plano staff withdraws Envision Oak Point development plan

Lavon Farms, a family-owned dairy farm in east Plano, sits at the heart of the cityu2019s development plans for the Oak Point area.

Lavon Farms, a family-owned dairy farm in east Plano, sits at the heart of the cityu2019s development plans for the Oak Point area.

The Plano mayor and city manager on Monday bemoaned the withdrawal of the Envision Oak Point plan, saying critical opportunities to guide development in one of Plano's largest remaining undeveloped areas may have already passed.

The city staff withdrew the Oak Point redevelopment plan after it became clear there were fundamental disagreements about the facts in the proposal, some of which may be "unresolvable," Plano City Manager Bruce Glasscock said at Monday's council meeting.

"I don’t know that we can address all the concerns, to be truthful," Glasscock told Plano City Council members.

Glasscock said some of the opposition's concerns were based on "confusion, misinformation" and "flat-out false" statements being circulated in public, including claims the Envision Oak Point plan would drive economic incentive agreements. The proposal would have informed decisions on zoning and city planning in a more detailed manner than the guidelines for Oak Point outlined in the city's comprehensive plan.

"Misinformation by [other]  people is one thing," Mayor Harry LaRosiliere said to his seven fellow council members. "We, the eight of us—if we have the right information, then it is our job to vote."

Half the council members, particularly those who have been critical of apartment development in the past, asked the city to bring back a consensus proposal that addressed some of the residents' concerns while still laying out a specific vision for future development. Council members Anthony Ricciardelli, Rick Smith, Ron Kelley and Tom Harrison were among the group calling for a substantially modified plan.

But the statements of these council members drew sharp reproaches from LaRosiliere and Council Member Rick Grady, who questioned whether the city had lost out on the opportunity to guide the area's development. Without the plan, city planning officials have estimated the area would produce roughly half of the long-term economic output that it would have seen under Envision Oak Point.

Compared with the area's current development trajectory, an early draft of the Envision Oak Point plan would have promoted a housing mix with a greater share of apartments, increased walkability, and more parks and open space. The plan was amended in March to reduce the future number of apartment units in the area by 38 percent while increasing the number of single-family uses by 30 percent.

“I don’t think we’ve lost the opportunity" to guide development in Oak Point, Rick Smith said. "I’m very appreciative that we are taking a step back and trying to take the community as a whole into the equation."

The Plano Planning and Zoning Commission on April 2 had signed off on the plan, which needed only the approval of Plano City Council to become city policy.

Although the city could bring back the proposal at a later date, Glasscock said he did not expect there would be wholesale changes to the plans, which were the result of a yearlong process of citizen input and staff resources devoted to the topic.
By Daniel Houston
Daniel Houston covers city government, transportation, business and education for Community Impact Newspaper in Lewisville, Flower Mound and Highland Village. A Fort Worth native and Baylor University graduate, Daniel reported previously for The Associated Press in Oklahoma City and The Dallas Morning News.


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