The Plano City Council meeting on October 10 was abnormally long, sitting at over three and a half hours. Most of that time was spent discussing public comments and issues brought forth by residents. Due to the large number of speakers, each person was only given one minute and 30 seconds to speak. 

Here are five things you need to know:

Los Rios and Jupiter 

The development of a new affordable housing project Los Rios and Jupiter has brought a lot of angry residents. The developer won their appeal in a rezoning case in September, which allowed them to move ahead with an 80-unit complex, despite disapproval from Plano Planning and Zoning. Ten residents spoke during the public comment section against the development citing traffic and safety concerns, along with the devaluation of neighboring homes. Many of the speakers asked council members to revisit the plans for development and voiced their frustration. Another resident questioned why there are no property rights for those who already live there.

“Why can’t I be treated like every other resident,” one resident questioned. “Why can’t anyone listen to me?”

The city council did not speak on the issue but did explain that alternate locations were proposed but not accepted by the applicant. 

Eminent domain on Montessori Children’s Home

The montessori school on Hedgcoxe Road is backing up to a creek and treeline that enclose and create a private, safe playground area for students. But the city of Plano wants the land to finish the Preston Ridge Trail, which would connect Frisco to Plano, and Plano to Dallas. Parents, teachers and staff members voiced their concern about the trail being located so close to the school. Safety concerns were the biggest topic of the night when it came to the eminent domain placed on the school’s grounds. Many parents explained they chose the school because it is far more secluded and private than other schools, and they feel that makes their children safer. 

“We are not against transformation in Plano, but we don’t want to expose our children to safety issues,” one parent said. 

The school has also exceeded demands and has been planning to add more space for students to learn. However, the trail would take that space from the school to expand. Some parents also discussed the fact that children need time to learn outdoors as it is vital for education. But with the trail being so close many feel that safety is a concern for children playing outdoors. Several of the parents demanded the city council find an alternative solution in order to put children’s education in front of development. 

H-E-B Plano

One resident came to the council to share his frustrations with H-E-B coming to North Texas, especially Plano. He explained that the grocery store is not in alignment with the culture of the area, and it will take away from other businesses. The speaker is also frustrated with the amount of traffic that the new store will bring to the area. Finally, the individual claimed that high-income housing will be negatively affected once the store is built, but did not give examples of how. 

Police/ School Resource Officer Program

Plano City Council voted to renew the interlocal agreement by and between the city of Plano, Texas and the Frisco Independent School District for the operation of the police and school resource officer program. These individuals interact with students, teachers and administrators on a daily basis, and build relationships with the students to create positive influence. It was recommended the contract with Frisco Independent School District be renewed for the 2022-2023 school year. City council voted unanimously to pass the proposed renewal. 

Short term-rentals 

Short-term-rentals were a hot topic at the Monday meeting, and residents voiced their concerns about the rentals in Plano. Some speakers claimed they have seen a large number of parties and drug use in their neighborhoods. In recent events of a sex-trafficking ring in one of these houses, many want to see these rentals banned outright. City council members are working with attorneys to avoid any kind of lawsuits. There were more than 20 individuals with the Texas Neighborhood Coalition of Plano who spoke at the meeting. No decision was made, but city council members will continue to weigh their options. Local Profile will continue to update this issue. 

If you missed the meeting on October 10, or want to watch it again visit planotx.gov.