How to Read the Dashboards

Each Future Land Use Category includes a general description, list of priorities, and dashboard illustrating the mix of land uses and typical design characteristics that are desirable to meet the community’s vision for these areas. It is intended that these dashboards be broad enough to adequately portray similarities of large geographies of the city, while also adding the necessary specificity to establish reasonable community expectations for how these areas should develop or redevelop. As Plano is mostly developed, existing conditions are not anticipated to align perfectly with the dashboards, and individual sites under the same category will develop with their own unique mix, character, and flavor. Small Area Plans are considered an extension of the Comprehensive Plan and may be used to further refine the community’s vision for specific locations within the city. If there are conflicts with the dashboards, the existing Small Area Plan controls due to the extensive public outreach and additional detail within these plans. The sections below describe how to use and interpret the Future Land Use Category Dashboards of the Comprehensive Plan.

Click here to view "How to Read the Dashboards" (PDF)

sample dashboard

Sample Dashboard

1. Descriptions

This section provides a written description of the broad vision, form, and desired characteristics for each Future Land Use Category. These descriptions are aspirational in nature, indicating the desired future conditions. They are intended to describe the typical qualities of each category and may not reflect the full variety of uses and existing conditions of individual locations. (For example, the Neighborhoods (N) Future Land Use Category, while primarily single-family in nature, will cover neighborhoods in Plano ranging from estate lots to townhomes and apartments.) 


This section provides a list of major priorities and necessary action to achieve the vision for each Future Land Use Category.


This section includes charts illustrating a preferable mix of uses that are representative of the general vision for each category. As Future Land Use Categories cover large portions of the city, these charts should not be interpreted as hard caps or minimums for the mix of uses at individual locations; however, changes in land use should improve, rather than detract, from the preferable mix of uses established for the Future Land Use Category in an area. The actual mix of uses may vary from location to location based on existing conditions, market demand, and individual site considerations that may limit the suitability of certain uses. Large deviations, however, should warrant close consideration and are generally not favorable in this plan.


This section describes the general characteristics that are desired for new growth, infill, and redevelopment in each category. Improvements to existing uses should also be encouraged to incorporate these desirable character defining elements. 

mix of uses

The Land Use Mix section provides the preferred balance of housing and employment uses within the category. This is calculated in total acres of land, excluding areas that are generally recognized as unsuitable for private development, such as the 100-year floodplain and electric transmission line easements.Land Use Mix

Employment mix (Acres)

The Employment Mix chart describes the preferred mix of the following employment types within each Future Land Use Category:

Retail TypesOffice TypesInstitutional TypesIndustrial Types
Retail Types
Retail Types generally includes businesses with commercial store frontages located in pad, strip, activity, or big box shopping centers. It also includes supporting businesses such as light office, hotels, self-storage, gas stations, light automotive servicing centers, entertainment venues, and other similar uses when located in a retail shopping center.
Office Types
Office Types generally includes businesses that provide professional, medical, or administrative services located in a neighborhood or corporate campus setting, such as:
  • doctor/dentist offices
  • attorney offices
  • research/technology businesses
  • insurance agencies
  • corporate offices
Institutional Types
Institutional Types includes educational, medical, and government related uses, such as:
  • hospitals
  • emergency rooms
  • schools
  • post offices
  • government facilities
  • assisted living1
  • religious facilities
  • police/fire stations
Industrial Types
Industrial Types includes businesses that are heavy commercial or industrial related, often with outside storage, vehicle storage, and multiple bay doors, such as:
  • office/warehouses
  • distribution centers
  • private utilities
  • wholesale building supplies
  • transmission/collision repair
  • car dealerships

Housing Types (Dwelling Units)

The Housing Mix chart describes the preferred mix of the following housing types within each Future Land Use Category:

Single-Family Types
Single-Family Types
Multifamily Types
Detached Single-Family Types
The most prolific type of housing in Plano’s suburban neighborhoods, Detached Single-family Types (Detached SF) includes detached housing products with a single dwelling unit per lot, such as:
  • conventional houses
  • estates
  • patio homes
  • small-lot single-family
Attached Single-Family Types
Attached Single-family Types (Attached SF) includes housing products with generally one dwelling unit per lot attached by a common vertical floor to roof wall to a similar dwelling, such as:
  • duplexes
  • townhomes
  • brownstones
  • row houses
Multifamily Types
Multifamily Types (MF) includes any housing product with more than three dwelling units per lot, including:
  • garden-style apartments/ condominiums
  • main-street style apartments/ condominiums
  • small-scale apartments/ condominiums
  • mid-rise apartments/ condominiums
  • high-rise apartments/ condominiums
  • independent living centers1

Employment/Housing Mix Note:

1: While retirement housing is categorized as EIPS in the Zoning Ordinance, institutional housing can be associated with both Residential and Employment uses. Housing units within independent living centers are counted towards Multifamily Types for the purposes of the Future Land Use Map and Dashboards due to their design and function. However, assisted living and long-term care facilities are considered Institutional Types due to their operations.

measurement areas

The area to be used in calculating the total acreage varies from category to category as listed below:

  • Neighborhoods (N)
  • Downtown Corridors (DT)
  • Employment Centers (EM)
  • Social Network (SN)
  • Open Space Network (OS)
Mix Area Citywide
Per Adjoining Corner/Center
  • Neighborhood Corners (NC)
  • Community Corners (CC)
  • Suburban Activity Centers (SA)
  • Urban Activity Centers (UA)
Example 1:
Mix Area Adjoining Corner-Center Example 1
Example 2:
Mix Area Adjoining Corner-Center Example 2
Per Expressway
  • Expressway Corridors (EX)
Mix Area Expressway

Desirable character defining elements

This section describes the general characteristics that are desired for new growth, infill, and redevelopment in each category.  Improvements to existing uses should also be encouraged to incorporate these character defining elements.  Each Future Land Use Category lists the range of heights, densities, and private open space that may be acceptable in a given area, although not all properties will be suitable for the minimum or maximum range.  These should be decided on a case by case basis for context-sensitivity through zoning districts and regulations.Character Defining Elements

intensity & Scale

Intensity and Scale are a combination of a building’s height and how much of the property it covers.  For the purpose of the Future Land Use Map, intensity and scale are defined as follows:

Intensity and Scale


For the purposes of the Future Land Use Map, density is measured by the number of dwelling units per acre (DUA) on an individual lot or within a residential subdivision (reasonably excluding public or private streets, park land, and public open space).  Where both residential and non-residential uses share a lot and/or common facilities (parking, open space, etc.), the acreage attributed to non-residential uses will be removed from the density calculation.  Refer to the Glossary and What is Density page for more information.



For the purposes of the Future Land Use Map, building heigBuilding Heightshts are defined by the range of stories that are appropriate to be constructed for a building. Note: not all properties will be suitable for the maximum height.


Parking Orientation is the means in which parking is provided in each category.  This can include personal garages, surface parking lots, structured parking garages, on-street parking, and valet.  All parking should be provided in a context-sensitive manner.

Parking Orientation


Block Pattern describes how wide or compact the street network is in an area.  Some areas may have internal streets or public ways.

Block Pattern


Multimodal Access is measured in HIGH, MEDIUM, and LOW to rate the ability to get to a site using a variety of transportation options and, once there, how easy it is to move from business to business without getting back in a personal automobile.  HIGH typically have direct access using that mode.  MEDIUM typically have direct access using that mode, but may require a short walk.  LOW typically means access is limited in the area.

Multimodal Access


Streetscape describes the uniformity of setbacks or presence of pedestrian amenities. The streetscape contributes to a location’s aesthetics, the form of public and open space, and orientation of buildings. Streetscapes will range in style and intensity across land uses, but will share common design elements, including trees and landscaping, street lighting, sidewalks, and seating.

  • small setbacks
  • wide sidewalks, street trees, & pedestrian amenities
  • storefronts & patio dining
  • multimodal infrastructure
  • on-street parking
  • small to medium setbacks
  • medium-width sidewalks
  • stoops & porches
  • tree-lined streets
  • multimodal infrastructure
  • on-street parking
  • medium to large setbacks
  • medium sidewalks 
  • street trees & landscape edges 
  • surface parking lots 
  • multimodal infrastructure
  • medium setbacks 
  • lawns & xeriscapes
  • medium sidewalks
  • on-street parking
  • bike routes & trails
  • extra-large setbacks
  • ample greenspace buffers 
  • medium sidewalks
  • street trees & landscape edges
  • surface parking lots
  • multimodal infrastructure
  • extra-large setbacks
  • natural open areas 
  • sidewalks connecting to trails, open space, & recreational areas

Streetscape Photos


Open Space as a character defining element means the portion of a development that should not be used for buildings.  These areas can be passive open spaces, like the grass and landscaping that surround a building, or active open spaces with plazas, playgrounds, public art, water features, benches, and other pedestrian amenities.  Note: not all properties will be suitable for the maximum open space.  Conversely, not all properties are appropriate for open space requirements, such as very small single-family housing developments where the associated governance association needed to maintain open space would be an undue burden on a small number of owners.

Passive Open Space

Active Open Space