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

Jim's Pizza is relocating to Eldorado Parkway. (Community Impact staff)
Jim's Pizza relocates in McKinney; ice pop shop coming to Frisco and more DFW-area news

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

These discussions follow a decision by Plano City Council to not object to a 4% tax credit for a proposed multifamily development by the Plano Housing Authority on K Avenue in late March. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
Plano City Council pursues further discussion on tax credits for affordable housing

Plano City Council members continued discussions on the future of housing tax credits for affordable housing at a meeting April 6.

The red portion of the map identifies Collin County's corridor study area for new alignments for an expansion of FM 546. (Courtesy Collin County)
Collin County studies FM 546 in McKinney; 29 trees transplanted in Frisco and more top DFW-area news

Read the top business and community news from the past week from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

JPMorgan Chase Bank's Plano Campus opened in 2017 at Legacy West. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
Plano incentive agreement to allow for hybrid work at JPMorgan Chase Bank

The revisions, which allow for more location flexibility for company employees, follow the same pattern as those made to an incentive agreement with Toyota Motor North America in March.

Chick-fil-A's new location in the Spanish Village Shopping Center is now open for drive-thru and mobile curbside service. (Courtesy Chick-fil-A)
Chick-fil-A opens in Richardson; Lo-Lo's Chicken and Waffles moves to Grapevine and more DFW-area news

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

The item approved April 6 will take roughly $1.6 million from various unappropriated city funds and increase pay for all employees, according to a city memo. (Liesbeth Poowers/Community Impact Newspaper)
Plano City Council approves pay raises for employees

Roughly $1.6 million from various unappropriated city funds will go toward an increase in pay for all employees.

The eastern portion of Heritage Creekside has been largely developed with roughly 60% of the entire property built out in 2020. The mixed-use development expects to be fully built out in 2026 or soon after. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
Heritage Creekside takes steps to begin developing west portion of Plano property

Updates to the zoning allowances in the mixed-use district were approved by Plano City Council at a meeting April 6.

People.
Plano ISD appoints new principals for Plano Senior High, McMillen High

“Research tells us that the campus principal is a significant driver of student success on the campus in Plano ISD,” Assistant Superintendent for Employee Services Beth Brockman said.

Here are the most recent coronavirus updates from Denton County. (Community Impact staff)
Denton County surpasses 250,000 vaccine doses

The percentage of COVID-19 patients compared to capacity in Denton County hospitals is currently a “tick higher” than other North Texas counties, but the overall picture is looking better, according to health officials.

The Plano-McKinney Music & Arts Festival will include a classic car show. (Courtesy Outlaw Nation)
McKinney music, arts festival set for mid-April; Raising Cane's opens in Plano and more DFW-area news

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

According to the release, three STAAR tests were affected by the connectivity issues including fourth grade writing, seventh grade writing and English I. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
TEA Student Assessment Division calls STAAR Online Testing Platform connectivity issues 'completely unacceptable'

According to the release, three STAAR tests were affected by the connectivity issues including fourth grade writing, seventh grade writing and English I.

Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order April 5 banning governments from issuing "vaccine passport" mandates that would require residents to show proof of vaccination in order to enter a public place or receive services. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
New order from Gov. Greg Abbott bans government-mandated 'vaccine passports' in Texas

"Government should not require any Texan to show proof of vaccination and reveal private health information just to go about their daily lives," Abbott said.