PLANO — A long-undeveloped piece of property along State Highway 121 in north Plano will be the home to a housing development with homes averaging nearly $400,000.
Article By: Bill Conrad | Plano Star Courier
The development was approved Monday night by the Plano City Council, which rezoned the land from commercial to residential with a 6-1 vote. Councilwoman André Davidson voted no and councilman Ben Harris recused himself.
The 27-acre property sits between Coit Road and Independence Parkway, just west of Taylor Elementary.
The land has been owned for 30 years by Joe Haggar, who told the council he had been trying to sell the property to commercial developers for 15 years and received “zero interest.” The property has a 30-foot drop from front to back and is tucked behind other commercial buildings, limiting its visibility from 121 and therefore, its commercial appeal, Haggar said.
He said he believes building homes on the site is “a perfect fit” due to the close proximity of the elementary school.
While the council, as well as the planning and zoning board, eventually approved the zoning change, city staff recommended denying the change because the use is not consistent with the city’s comprehensive plan.
“The future land use portion of the comprehensive plan designates this area as a major corridor development,” said Tina Firgens, the city’s planning manager. “The city’s current land use policy recommends land planned along our expressways and corridors be used for employment uses and economic development opportunities. The requested Single Family Residence 6 is inconsistent with our comprehensive plan recommendation.”
With the property having challenges that made it less than desirable commercially, Mayor Phil Dyer acknowledged the difficult decision the council faced.
“We are kind of going against the comprehensive plan, but it is a challenging piece of property, no question,” Dyer said shortly before he voted in favor of the rezoning request.
A small sliver of land fronting the highway is being left vacant for future commercial uses, said Thomas Juhn, the president of JBI Partners, the engineering firm working on the project.
The property will house about 115 lots, with an average home size of about 3,200 square feet, said Beau Brooks of Grand Homes. Brooks, a vice president with the company, estimated the houses would have a combined value of $44.5 million and add an additional $217,400 to the city’s tax rolls.
Brooks said Grand Homes has built more homes in Plano than it has in any other city, and said the houses built on Haggar’s property, which has been dubbed Northglen, will closely resemble the houses in the Regency Park development located near the intersection of McDermott and Ohio drives.
After the meeting Juhn said his office would be on the site as soon as possible to conduct surveys and come up with an engineering plan. Brooks said he hopes to have lots ready to build early next year.