The Plano City Council on Wednesday unanimously voted to repeal the Plano Tomorrow Plan, putting an end to a five-year debate between those who supported the city’s guide and those who didn’t.
During a joint meeting with the Planning and Zoning Commission the council voted 8-0 to repeal the plan as well as to implement the 2015 version of the 1986 Comprehensive Plan.
The biggest point of contention between supporters and the opposition of the Plano Tomorrow Plan was the amount of density and apartments the plan called for.
The debate included a legal battle between the city and the citizen group Plano Future that ended when a Dallas appellate court on July 22 reversed a previous decision that had sided with the city.
In a special meeting Sunday the council voted not to contest the July 22 decision.
Tuesday, the commission and council accepted a citizen petition that called for the repeal of the Plano Tomorrow Plan.
The petition included 462 pages and was filed with the city in November of 2015, city officials said.
The petition sought to require the city to call a referendum election to adopt the Plano Tomorrow Plan. Once the council accepted the petition it could call that election or repeal the plan. To repeal the plan it needed a recommendation by P&Z, which it received.
Commissioner Nathan Barbera said while he would like to see the plan go before the voters, he said it’s important to move the city forward.
“The healing process for the city needs to begin,” Barbera said. “Hopefully tonight we’ll get that going in earnest.”
Mayor Harry LaRosiliere acknowledged Plano Tomorrow had some debatable points but defended the plan overall.
“The Plano Tomorrow Plan is an award-winning plan that has many tremendous features to it,” LaRosiliere said. “The area of contention is the density and the apartments. So when it’s all said and done the plan as a structure and chassis is fantastic, and we’ll probably see most of it come back. And I would think the area that we’re looking for our committee to do, the heavy lifting, is coming to some common ground again on the density issue.”
Residents on both sides of the matter spoke before the commission and council took their votes.
Resident Kevin Butler discouraged the council from repealing the plan in its entirety.
“Our residents, students and commuters should be proud of this award-winning plan,” Butler said. “I believe no neighborhood should experience sudden and radical change. But I also believe no neighborhood should be exempt from no plan at all. When I hear that much of the opposition’s plans center on apartments, I can’t help but feel people like me are not welcome in Plano.”
Others said the plan should be repealed.
“One of the big concerns right now is the level of apartments we have right now from the percentage standpoint,” resident John Donovan said. “I think we have to be careful because it’s beginning to push us to a point of no return.”
Other residents said the plan is not in line with the city’s local government code to lessen congestion in the streets, provide safety, prevent the overcrowding of land or facilitate the supervision of infrastructure, among other things.
The city's Comprehensive Plan Review Committee will continue its work on revising comprehensive plan elements with the goal of completing its work by this fall or winter.