A new 641-acre development project includes land for a new school, more park space and new road plans.

Celina City Council members approved plans for a 641-acre planned development, called Rainwater Crossing, during a special-called Aug. 21 meeting.

Council members tabled a decision regarding the project during a previous Aug. 8 public hearing to allow residents more time to learn about the development.

The gist

Rainwater Crossing will replace a 2016 plan for the land that had less of the modern amenities, said Dustin McAfee, the city’s executive director of development services.

Some of the new amenities include:
  • A minimum of 20 acres for commercial property
  • A maximum of 1,300 multifamily homes
  • 13 acres for park land
  • A trail running throughout the development
  • Four amenity centers
  • Wider sidewalks

Development plans also include new roads, according to a meeting presentation.

The development should help with traffic on County Road 97, Councilmember Jay Pierce said. (Courtesy city of Celina)
The development should help with traffic on County Road 97, Council Member Jay Pierce said. (Courtesy city of Celina)

“I personally think it's a better plan than what was before,” Council Member Jay Pierce said. “It gets G.A. Moore [Parkway] out to Preston [Road], gets traffic off of County Road 97.”

The agreement was amended during the meeting to include G.A. Moore Parkway construction to be completed in the first phase of development. Another adjustment was to build a buffer fence between one resident’s home and the development.

Diving deeper

Many of the residents who spoke at the meeting live in the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction, or ETJ, land and neighborhoods.

“I did not know that my property had already been decided for me before I even got there,” Celina ETJ resident Jay Bender said. “There is a master plan for the thoroughfares, and they go right through my master bedroom.”

Bender and his wife, Lynn Bender, both spoke during the meeting to thank council for tabling at the Aug. 8 meeting and said they were in favor of the project “for the greater good” of the city.

“If you look at the differences in the development plan from what was proposed and approved back in 2016 to where we are today, I think a lot of the changes that they're making are actually going to benefit the community,” Lynn Bender said.

Also of note

Council Member Mindy Koehne did not discuss or vote on the item. Koehne recused herself from the item due to a conflict of interest, City Secretary Lauren Vaughns said.

Koehne and her law firm, Coats Rose, are listed as affiliates of the development in the original Aug. 8 meeting documents. She is not named in the Aug. 21 meeting documents as the Coats Rose contact.

Koehne took part in the Aug. 8 discussions where she urged residents to take time to understand the project and “see the proposed plan is better than the original plan, which has already been entitled.”

Council members said at the beginning of the Aug. 8 meeting they were planning to table the vote. Celina’s home rule charter does not specify if a council member with a conflict must recuse themselves if no vote is being made during the meeting.

Get involved

Celina residents can find a schedule of upcoming public city meetings here.