The Plano City Council voted April 26 to issue two specific use permits for Dallas Area Rapid Transit's expansion in the city.
The votes were unanimous, based on the recommendations of the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission and following two public hearings with no citizen input.
The first permit for a transit center or station involves 5.5 acres at the southeast corner of K Avenue and 12th Place, which is presently zoned light commercial. The future 12th Street Station will be part of DART’s 26-mile Silver Line connecting Plano to Irving and Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.
Council members' only expressed concern was a desire to mitigate both trash and visual impact at the station and in the surrounding neighborhood. They were assured by the applicant that those issues are addressed in the overall plan.
The second permit involves a transit center or station on 1.6 acres of land located west of J Avenue at 12th Street, also zoned light commercial as well as light industrial-1. It is for an elevated light rail station connecting the Red Line to the Silver Line. There will be no parking at that site.
Both specific use permits are in accord with the Plano Tomorrow Comprehensive Plan, officials said.
Earlier in the meeting, council members considered whether to approve DART’s request for eminent domain authority in advance of negotiations for property needed for the Silver Line. Some council members said they were concerned that giving DART such authority before talks began would weaken homeowners’ negotiating positions.
DART’s representative said that the property purchasing process is handled this way–and has been for more than 30 years–due to state law and that it does not prevent the agency from negotiating in good faith and continuing to do so until it cannot any more.
The council voted 5-3 to table the question for future consideration.