Zoning change approved for historic First Baptist Plano land downtown

Plans by redevelopers Texas InTown Homes will keep and repurpose the historic chapel on First Baptist Church of Plano's property.

Plans by redevelopers Texas InTown Homes will keep and repurpose the historic chapel on First Baptist Church of Plano's property.

Planning zoning officials have approved the zoning change of 7.8 acres of the historic First Baptist Plano land to planned development-133-downtown business/government with modified development standards. This decision had previously been tabled July 1, Aug. 5 and Sept. 3.

The applicant, listed as First Baptist Church of Plano, also representing the developer Texas InTown Homes, requested this zoning change to allow for additional housing opportunities and to restrict development to single-family uses.

The change was approved with an amendment asking for the 5-foot sidewalk planned on 14th Street to be expanded to 10 feet with obstructions, meaning that space can include seating furniture or other sidewalk features.

“You’ve made eight revisions to the plan, you’ve listened to the residents quite a lot and the opposite side of the street from this is not residential, it’s commercial,” said David Downs, a planning and zoning commissioner. “That said, I’d like to make a motion to approve with the stipulation that the sidewalk be widened on 14th Street and beyond that, I will not put a restriction.”

An uncertain amount of trees, sidewalk widths and five-story buildings were among the items of the redevelopment plan discussed by members of the planning and zoning committee, as well as the choice by InTown Homes to not encourage retail on the bottom floor of the plan's apartment complexes.

InTown Homes shared its willingness to follow the amendment to expand the sidewalks on 14th Street.

Seven citizens showed their support for the zoning change at the planning and zoning meeting Sept. 16, two of whom did not speak, and three spoke in opposition.

The Plano Planning and Zoning Committee also approved the concept plan for the to-be mixed-use property presented at the meeting. Both items passed with a 5-2 vote.

The church moved in January to sell its properties and relocate to a property near Coit and Mapleshade and named InTown Homes as the developer for the church’s downtown properties in a press release Sept. 6.

FBC Plano released plans in February for its new development. The church expects the move to take just under two years, during which the church will remain on its land downtown, as previously reported by Community Impact Newspaper.

InTown Homes expects to create 50 for-sale urban townhouses, 270 apartments with live and work units as well as office, retail and restaurant spaces on the 10 acres mixed-used property. Of the 10 acres, 7.8 acres were requested for rezoning.
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By Liesbeth Powers

Liesbeth graduated from Baylor University with a degree in new media journalism in December 2018. She gained her newspaper experience as a staff writer and multimedia editor at her campus paper, The Baylor Lariat. Liesbeth joined the Community Impact team in August 2019, where she reports on all things Plano, including education and transportation.


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