Right types of housing in the right places  

Plano has a jobs and housing imbalance.  In recent years, we have added many new office buildings and other workplaces while adding relatively little new housing.  We have more traffic as a result of the longer commutes from neighboring areas that have built more housing.  We are also starting to lose some businesses as they move North to be closer to where their employees live. 

Plano also has little housing for people who have become empty-nesters or retirees and want to downsize but stay in Plano. 

And in general, Plano needs more variety in its housing.  We may have too many 3000+ square foot McMansions as well as too many boxy apartment buildings with 700 square foot living areas.  In the small amount of remaining developable land, we need more housing products between these two extremes. 

Note: Developable land does not include all our current and planned parkland. 

This is not conjecture on David’s part.  This information is in a report from a city Housing Plan Advisory Committee on which David recently served. 

We need to be smarter in reducing traffic through locating new housing at or near new employment centers.  And that housing has to be attractive to the employees.  (Neither a McMansion nor a small apartment may be a good starter home for many.) 

Similarly, we need more cottages or other housing that may be attractive to our seniors.  Keeping them in our community greatly enriches us financially and in many other respects. 

Last but not least, new housing needs to be welcoming and accessible to all.  We should fully embrace universal design and other principles to ensure Plano can be inclusive for all. 


Right types of housing in the right places

Preservation and protection of existing neighborhoods 

As a city council member and later as an officer of the Plano Homeowners Council, David Smith was a leader in modifying city planning to ensure a healthy balance between apartments and single family housing.  The number of apartments that could have been built in the city was dramatically reduced.  David’s later leadership helped the city completely move away from permitting the “garden style” apartment complexes that can be more prone to deterioration.

Newer apartments have been built in mixed use developments, combining office, retail and housing, as we have in Downtown Plano and Legacy Park.  We are now progressing towards other housing types, such as manor houses, which may become part of new construction surrounding the Plano Center.

In the small remaining amounts of land available for development or redevelopment, we should be very smart about what types of housing to put where.  All new housing should include the variety attractive to employees or retirees and should be located to reduce traffic.  See the Housing section for more information.

Also, whether it is new housing or any other type of building, no new construction should be intrusive to our existing neighborhoods.  For example, a retail corner adjacent to an existing subdivision might be redeveloped to include new single story offices and retail perhaps along with cottages or manor houses for seniors or others.  High-rise condos, hotels or office towers would not be put on such a corner.  And even if new construction may be all low-rise, neighborhood residents should be fully engaged in the planning and design.