On Monday, August 28, 2023 the City Council passed zoning case 2022-009 by a vote of 5-3. Councilmen Williams, Ricciardelli, and Smith were the nay votes.
The only change the developer made from the last time they were in front of Council was to upgrade the air filtration system. On the city’s zoning website https://planogis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/CrowdsourcePolling/index.html?appid=440f9aa7eae44ff0b53aadeb72ea4ff0
thirty five Plano residents opposed the change, twelve were in favor, and two were neutral. Four Plano residents spoke against the zoning change. Only the developer spoke in favor of it.
Councilman Smith tried to get the developer to agree to build the office space or hotel at the same time as the apartments. The developer said no, which probably means we are not going to get the office at all. Therefore, Councilman Smith could not get on board with the plan.
Councilman Williams said the property is very special due to where it sits, and developing it will have consequences for years to come. We only have a few properties that are entrances to Plano like this one. He thinks the right opportunity will come, and this project is not right.
Councilwoman Prince had a completely opposite view. She thinks they can’t let the property just sit there. So, I guess she would rather have the wrong thing on the property instead of waiting for the right development.
Councilman Horne and the Mayor were all for this development and no matter what anyone said they were not changing their minds.
Councilwoman Tu said she always supports the Planning and Zoning Board, and they passed it so she was for it. Except the first time this development came before council, the Councilwoman did not support the Planning and Zoning Board’s decision to deny the project. Instead, she sent it back to them for reevaluation. So, I guess she doesn't always support the Planning and Zoning Board. Perhaps she needs to re-watch the meeting to refresh her memory.
Councilman Ricciardelli still had problems with the project and could not vote for it. Holmer, instead, liked the project. She suggested the developer add Pickle Ball courts to the project. The woman is Pickle Ball crazy. Some residents made a suggestion that a regular priced grocery store was needed in that area; however, to those residents Holmer said there was not enough people in the area to warrant one. I guess she forgot that when the Collin Creek development is finished there will be thousands of people in that area, and they will need a reasonable place to food shop. Oh well, too bad for them. I guess they will just have to get in their cars and drive, or pay more at the Whole Foods across the highway in Richardson. Maybe if the residents had suggested the Fry’s building should be converted to an indoor Pickle Ball Club with multiple courts, she would have voted no. Too bad no one thought of that.
Once again, we are stuck with a majority of elected people on City Council who do not listen to the residents. If Mrs. Colleen Aguliar-Epstein had defeated Mr. Horne in May, this zoning would have failed the first time. Colleen would have never gone against the comprehensive plan or staffs recommendation to deny the change. If more voters don’t wake up and get involved in local government, we will have a Plano that will be unrecognizable in the future.
This is Mary Lema for Plano’s Political Pit Bull signing off.