Plano Housing Authority makes headway on affordable housing community with zoning approval

The city of Plano acquired the property in 2002 before a former development was razed and a majority of the property was left vacant. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
The city of Plano acquired the property in 2002 before a former development was razed and a majority of the property was left vacant. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)

The city of Plano acquired the property in 2002 before a former development was razed and a majority of the property was left vacant. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)

Image description
The city of Plano acquired the property in 2002 before a former development was razed and a majority of the property was left vacant. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
Image description
The city of Plano acquired the property in 2002 before a former development was razed and a majority of the property was left vacant. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
Editor's note: This article has been updated to include additional information on the proposed multifamily community.

A multifamily community meant to bring affordable housing to Plano received initial approval Feb. 1 from the Plano Planning and Zoning Commission.

City of Plano staff requested a zoning change for 5.3 acres of land on the north side of Park Boulevard, just west of K Avenue, and presented a concept plan from the Plano Housing Authority for a 4.4-acre multifamily residence community on the land.

Plans show a community with up to 226 apartments, made up of a mixture of one-, two- and three-bedroom units. Forty-seven units will be open to any renter, while 179 units will be restricted to workforce households at 60% of the area median income, or approximately $60,000 maximum gross income.

The building is expected to be a total of five stories in height, with four stories above ground-floor parking, plans said. Residents also would have access to a pool and open green space in the form of a pedestrian "Art Park," city staff said. There will also be a ride-hailing lane incorporated into the design, targeted for use of rider-hailing and delivery services, MVAH Partners shared in a letter to the commission.


The city of Plano acquired the property in 2002 before a former development was razed and a majority of the property was left vacant. This property and concept meets the infill housing utilization standards for Plano Housing Authority and, with zoning change approval, is available for tax credits from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs and a possible bond allocation from the Texas Bond Review Board, the letter said.

The project was presented with an alternative concept plan because the city's housing authority has plans to incorporate the parcel land in the corner of the property where a Rent-A-Tire currently sits. The city has already signed an agreement with the parcel's property owner, although the land will not be fully acquired until closing. If the city were to not ultimately close on the parcel, the project would instead move forward as a 169-apartment complex, with space saved for the pool and green space.

"There have been a lot of different things placed in as safeguards to make sure that the entire project is delivered with an open space because we know it's an important piece again to the city of Plano," project representative Kirk Paisley said.

The entire front edge of the property would also be reserved for green space, and the building would follow architectural design standards that would meet community expectations, city staff shared during the Feb. 1 presentation. Wide sidewalks and landscaping would also be utilized in this project.

The project plan and zoning changes for the land were approved with the addition of language asking for a review of the safety barriers on the western part of the property, where the Dallas Area Rapid Transit line runs.

The zoning change faced some challenge by commissioners, passing with a vote of 5-3. Some said that the land might be better suited for a development magnet project, while others said they felt that the land might be too isolated for residential use based on the city's comprehensive plan. Still others felt that an isolated piece of land serves as a prime location for housing that might otherwise be the subject of disagreement in neighboring residential areas.

"There's always been this, 'We need more affordable housing in the city,'" Commissioner David Downs said. "So my question is, if we want more affordable housing, isn't it likely that we're going to have to make an exception in order to provide that in an area where somebody is not willing to stand up and say, 'Not in my backyard?'"

The concept plan, which was contingent to approval of the zoning change, was approved by a vote of 7-1.

If and when changes are made to the additional parcel of land, a revised concept plan will be brought before the zoning body. The project will also require approval from Plano City Council at a later date.
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 and Richardson, including Plano City Council and Dallas Area Rapid Transit.


MOST RECENT

Construction has been ramping up in neighborhoods throughout Texas to meet the demand for housing. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
Experts discuss Texas' housing shortage during digital summit

Douglas Elliman Texas CEO Jacob Sudhoff said one trend from 2020 that has continued this year is tenants wanting to migrate from urban apartment developments to suburban homes.

COVID-19 had more real estate property owners consider how to bring the inside to the outside, experts said during the June 23 digital summit. (Courtesy Hub Streat)
Experts discuss COVID-19's effects on Texas real estate trends during digital summit

“The new normal is closer to the old normal than we thought it would be,” said Frank Mihalopoulos, the founder of Corinth Properties. “We lost a lot of businesses, and ... some restaurants are not even open all the hours that they had. We noticed some folks don’t even open in the evenings or on certain days for the longest time.”

Real estate investors and experts discuss the draw of Texas during the June 23 Bisnow Digital Summit. (Screenshot by Miranda Jaimes/Community Impact Newspaper)
Real estate experts discuss the draw to Texas in digital summit

Craig Hall, founder of the Hall Group, said his projects have him working with out-of-state city leaders, and it’s “refreshing” to work with Texas attitudes.

Waxing.
Avalon Salon and Spa closes Plano location at The Shops at Legacy

Staff from the location were relocated to Avalon's West Village salon in Dallas, according to co-owner Lawrence Bonanno.

People in a meeting.
Plano ISD board approves $19.6M budget deficit for 2021-22 school year

As part of the new budget, the board approved a $7 million expense to give all eligible district employees a 2% pay raise.

Gov. Greg Abbott announced a special legislative session will begin July 8. (Trent Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Gov. Greg Abbott announces special legislative session to start July 8

Agenda items will be announced before the session begins, according to a release from the governor's office.

group of people at board meeting
Frisco ISD board approves agreement with city, Hall Group for performing arts center

The agreement outlines the public-private partnership among Frisco ISD, the city of Frisco and Hall Group to build a $67 million performing arts center at Hall Park.

Cajun restaurant Storming Crab is now open in McKinney. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Storming Crab restaurant open in McKinney; Romeo's Pizza comes to Frisco and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

The reformer Pilates studio offers 50-minute classes that focus on quick transitions throughout a beat-based, high-intensity, full-body workout. (Courtesy Session Pilates)
Session Pilates to open a Plano location later this summer

The reformer Pilates studio offers 50-minute classes that focus on quick transitions throughout a beat-based, high-intensity, full-body workout.

Food.
Steve Fields' Steakhouse to open later this year in Plano

Steve Fields initially hoped to have the new restaurant ready by Sept. 1 of this year, but now estimates it is likely to open in late September or early October.

The Texas Central rail connection from Dallas to Houston will feature a bullet train similar to this one. (Courtesy Texas Central Partners/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas Supreme Court declines to review high-speed rail case, freeing company up to use eminent domain

Texas Central, the company looking to build a 236-mile high-speed rail line connecting Houston and Dallas, has been given a big win in an ongoing legal battle over whether the company is legally recognized as a "railroad company" under state law.

Bojangles recently announced it signed a franchise agreement to open a new location in Richardson. (Courtesy Bojangles)
Bojangles fried chicken coming to Richardson; bar and grill opens at Grapevine golf course and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.