Land use planning provides general guidance for the development and use of all land within the city, while community design addresses the relationship of buildings to each other, streets, and public spaces. The region’s projected population and job growth will be the greatest factors influencing land use decisions and site design. With few vacant properties remaining, the city will encourage the most efficient use of land in both new construction and redevelopment projects.

Downtown Plaza FlowersShops at Legacy ConstructionAerial View

  1. Land Use
    Background: Zoning has played an important role for cities in addressing the issue of land use compatibility. The maps and dashboards in the city’s Comprehensive Plan provide recommendations for land use decisions and zoning requests. Advances in technology, building practices, and environmental regulations have made mixing of compatible land uses advantageous in some cases. To provide housing and employment choices aligned with the market, Plano will support a system of organized land use where new and redevelopment areas respect the viability and quality of life for existing neighborhoods, businesses, and institutions.
  1. Community Design
    Background: Community design is the process of utilizing natural and manmade features of a city to create attractive, comfortable, and functional settings that enhance visual and physical connectivity. Plano’s successes in incorporating community design elements have created destinations with attractive amenities, active public spaces, and pedestrian-friendly environments. Plano will promote and incorporate community design components within all new developments, public spaces, and streetscapes.
  1. Redevelopment of Regional Transportation Corridors
    Background: Four expressway corridors, one active light rail, and one commuter rail line provide a variety of travel opportunities through the city and around the region. Development along these corridors should be carefully planned as a transition between adjacent residential neighborhoods and the expressways. To ensure the city’s regional transportation corridors remain vibrant and attractive, Plano will encourage reinvestment in and redevelopment of regional transportation corridors to create cohesive developments that incorporate well-designed commercial and retail opportunities. When housing is considered, noise and air quality standards will be maintained to protect the quality of life for residents.
  1. Undeveloped Land
    Background: The amount of undeveloped land remaining in Plano is limited, primarily located in nonresidential areas, and generally zoned for office and commercial uses. Though demand for new residential development has consistently remained high, the city has established policies encouraging employment generating uses on most remaining vacant land. To ensure adequate land for projected employment growth is provided, Plano will reserve its remaining undeveloped land for businesses offering skilled employment and limit new housing where consistent with the Future Land Use Map.
  1. Transit-Oriented Development
    Background: Transit-oriented development is a mixed-use area designed to maximize access to public transit and encourage ridership. Plano’s downtown is a regional example of successful transformation of a struggling historic main street into a thriving transit village with new residential units, shops, and restaurants constructed within walking distance of the DART light rail station. Plano will proactively encourage an integrated mix of uses and civic spaces within walking distance of planned transit stations.
  1. Redevelopment & Growth Management
    Background: As Plano is now mostly developed with a well-established built environment, significant changes to population and development patterns, as in previous decades, are no longer anticipated. However, the city’s reputation as a highly desirable suburban community and world-class business center means significant pressure for new growth and redevelopment will continue in many parts of the city. Although this is positive for sustaining reinvestment and continuing vitality of the community, zoning requests also often include some component of high density residential and/or high intensity commercial uses in close proximity to established, lower-density neighborhoods. This creates tension between two major priorities for the city: creating a business-friendly environment that promotes a healthy economy and conserving the existing suburban character of established neighborhoods within the city.

    To address these priorities effectively, the process for zoning changes in Plano needs to manage change in a way that encourages collaboration and communication between land owners making significant investments in the community and nearby residents and property owners who are the most impacted by zoning decisions. Engaging the community early in the process often leads to more successful outcomes for all parties. To that end, Plano will create innovative tools and update processes that encourage proactive engagement in zoning decisions. These processes will promote redevelopment and growth management consistent with the Guiding Principles.