LUHI Snapshot Policy

The Land Use & Housing Inventory (LUHI) is a dynamic tool that allows users to compare current conditions with the recommended Mix of Uses in the Future Land Use Dashboards.  It changes frequently as development projects are approved by city staff, the Planning & Zoning Commission, and/or City Council.  Although this allows for real-time data to implement the Comprehensive Plan, it also creates practical implications that must be considered when used by staff to provide guidance to property owners, make formal recommendations to the Planning & Zoning Commission, and determine if findings are required in accordance with the Findings Policy.  These include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Due to public hearing requirements and the complex nature of requests, the zoning process takes between three to six months (on average).  During this timeframe, updates to the LUHI resulting from the approval of other development plans in the area could change the underlying data used to determine staff's recommendation and whether findings are required or not.  Changing the underlying land use assumptions during the middle of the review of zoning cases creates instability in the process for staff and the applicant. 
  • Multiple zoning cases may be under review within the same measurement area of the Future Land Use Map.  These cases would likely be in different stages of the process, such as staff report preparation, public notice, or public hearings.  The hypothetical review approval of other active zoning cases could change LUHI data and adjust how one specific case aligns with the Dashboards at various times.  It would be highly impractical to determine the variety of possible impacts on cases and communicate outcomes effectively to all stakeholders.  It might also create unfair scenarios where a property owner submits a zoning proposal in an attempt to "hold" their proposed unit count or acreage to the detriment of the other property owners.
  • Property owners depend on the information provided in the Comprehensive Plan, largely at pre-application meetings, to make decisions about how to proceed with the use of their property.  During these meetings, staff provides preliminary analysis and guidance to help landowners understand how a zoning change would be be analyzed for alignment with the recommendations of the Comprehensive Plan.  This often results in tweaks and changes to the requests to better align with the guidance provided by staff.  If the LUHI data is volatile, the Comprehensive Plan may not be seen as a dependable source of information for land-based financial-investment decisions.

For these reasons, the Planning Department has established a LUHI Snapshot Policy to implement a quarterly "Snapshot," capturing the LUHI data at four predetermined dates each year and publishing the data to this website.  Zoning petitions will be locked into the Snapshot at the time their petition is submitted and will continue to be reviewed against that Snapshot for the remainder of the process, including the preparation of staff recommendation, analysis of the Dashboards' mix of uses, and whether or not findings are required.  The Snapshot is also provided at pre-application meetings, allowing applicants to "lock in" to a specific Snapshot if they submit their official zoning petition within 30 days of the meeting, even if a new Snapshot is published within that 30-day period.  Should zoning petitions be withdrawn for any reason, or pre-applications meetings fail to result in the submittal of a zoning petition within 30 days (or date of next Snapshot, whichever comes later), the Snapshot data specific to that request will expire and a new Snapshot will be required to continue the project.  The P&Z and City Council may consider recent approval or other pending cases in their decision for a specific case; however, this will not enact the Findings Policy if not warranted by the Snapshot.

What is a "snapshot"?

A "Snapshot" captures the Land Use & Housing Inventory data in place for all properties in Plano at quarterly intervals (January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1).  These Snapshots are what city staff uses to analyze zoning change requests for alignment with the Mix of Uses section in the applicable Future Land Use Dashboard.  This is important because findings by P&Z and City Council are required if the request does not comply with the Mix of Uses.  Recent development approvals (zoning changes, site plans, plats, etc.) are reflected in the online LUHI data when the new Snapshot is published each quarter.   


The Snapshot has two major implications for zoning change requests:

  1. It is the official data used by staff to review requests for alignment with the applicable Future Land Use Dashboard - Mix of Uses section. If the project does not align with the recommend Mix of Uses, staff will not recommend approval of the project. 
  2. It is the official data used to determine if findings are required.  If the project does not align with the recommended Mix of Uses, findings will be required by the Planning & Zoning Commission and City Council to approve the request.  The comprehensive plan states these types of requests are disfavored and should only be occasionally approved when the request is found consistent with (1) the Guiding Principles of the Comprehensive Plan and (2) substantially beneficial to the immediate neighbors, surrounding community, and general public interest.  

when does the snapshot apply?

Snapshots apply to any kind of zoning change request (e.g. straight rezoning, Planned Development, Specific Use Permit, etc.) and their associated concept plans at the time an official application is submitted to the Planning Department.  Snapshots do not apply to development projects constructed under existing zoning regulations. 

Which snapshot will apply to zoning changes during the year?

If a zoning change application is submitted without first holding a pre-application meeting with staff, or a pre-application meeting for the project was held more than 30 days prior to the application, the active LUHI Snapshot will apply as follows:

Application DateApplicable Snapshot
January 1 - March 31January 1
April 1 - June 30April 1
July 1 - September 30July 1
October 1 - December 31October 1

If a pre-application meeting is held with staff, Snapshots are valid for 30 days or until the next Snapshot publication date, whichever comes later

What if a new snapshot is published while a project is still under review?

The Snapshot applicable to a project at the time of application will be continue to be used for the remainder of the review process, including public hearings at the Planning & Zoning Commission and City Council.  

Does the snapshot expire?  

If a pre-application meeting is held with staff, Snapshots are valid for 30 days or until the next Snapshot publication date, whichever comes later.  Applicants should refer to the preliminary analysis form provided by staff during the pre-application meeting to find the expiration date (effective July 1, 2022) .