Plan Details

Information about the Plan

  • The creation of the Plano Tomorrow plan has been a public process facilitated by city staff, but led by the Planning & Zoning Commission, since 2013.  Thousands of respondents provided information on their vision of Plano’s future, and the plan attempts to coalesce and best represent the diverse and varied opinions of our community.  The process is outlined at
  • The plan focuses on fulfilling a vision that Plano is “a global leader, excelling in exceptional education, abounding with world class businesses and vibrant neighborhoods”.
  • The Plano Tomorrow plan is intended to be general in nature.  Comprehensive plans are often referred to as general plans; the terms are used synonymously.  One of the intentions of Plano Tomorrow is to have more distinction between our regulatory documents, such as the Zoning Ordinance, Subdivision Ordinance, Thoroughfare Standards, and Retail Corner Design Guidelines, and our comprehensive plan.  For this reason, numeric regulations have been intentionally excluded from the plan, but anticipate that in executing the plan, specific regulatory documents will be developed or edited for consistency with the Plan’s policies.  One example of such an implementation is the development of a community design assessment for mixed-use developments, as a regulatory document under consideration (related to Action Statement #9 under Built Environment – Land Use).  These standards, if approved, are designed to ensure quality of future mixed use developments, responsive to concerns of the community. 
  • One of the most important considerations in reviewing the plan is its broad scope. The Plano Tomorrow plan contains 5 pillars, 10 components, 41 policies, and 273 action statements, all of which are intended to work together to improve Plano for the future, balancing the diverse needs and desires of the varied and dynamic community. It is necessary to look at the policies and supportive maps in concert with one another to realize the full nature of the plan.

Residential Development within the Plan

  • The Plano Tomorrow plan is general in nature and does not include specific uses or densities. For example, the Regional Centers land use classification on the Future Land Use Map at Park and Preston states that residential is supported and should be incorporated into mixed-use developments. This classification is consistent with the current land uses at this intersection. 
  • Regarding land use recommendations, the plan’s Future Land Use Map recommends the following (numbers are estimates based on best data available):
  • 36% of all land = residential is inappropriate (reserved for parks, trails, commercial, and employment uses)
  • 55% of all land = residential is most appropriate (neighborhood focused with single family residential preferred)
  • 9% of all land = residential may be appropriate (most of this is the focus of redevelopment in corridors/large shopping areas as part of a mixed-use development or transit-oriented development). While mixed-use developments may be appropriate within the 9% of all land, the plan does not recommend this entire area should be developed for mixed-use or residential development. Rather, these are areas seen as potentially suitable. All zoning cases are judged on their individual merits, site context, and conformity to the comprehensive plan. 


Education is an important characteristic of the Plano Tomorrow plan and is stated within the plan’s overall vision statement. Two specific policies are provided within the Quality of Life and Regionalism components of the plan, which state:

Educational Opportunities Policy: Plano will assist with local educational initiatives and opportunities to ensure high quality learning within the city.

Regional Education Policy: Plano will partner with local and regional education institutions to provide quality educational opportunities to retain students in the region and for economic development opportunities to attract businesses seeking universities to provide research and development opportunities.

The two education policies contain 12 action statements, with 7 already in progress. These statements help ensure the city remains a vested partner with the school districts and higher education institutions to continue high quality learning within the city. All notifications for zoning changes are provided to PISD prior to the public hearings.  A public meeting was conducted with the PISD Board of Trustees on Tuesday, September 15th to discuss the draft Plano Tomorrow plan. 

Urban Residential in Plano

  • The city currently has 6,436 urban residential units (multifamily or single-family uses within a mixed-use development and mid-rise residential)
  • Urban Residential has 1.35 persons per household. As a comparison, traditional single-family residential has 2.89 persons per household. 
  • Approximately 1,800 multifamily units are located in Legacy Town Center. During the last school year, 67 students living within these units attend PISD. 
  • Approximately 500 multifamily units are located in Downtown Plano. During the last school year, 15 students living within these units attend PISD. 

Previously Approved Projects under the Existing Comprehensive Plan (not formally considered with the Plano Tomorrow plan)

  • Since January 2014, the city has zoned additional rights to 5,832 units of multifamily or mid-rise housing.  The majority of which (4,244 units) are in three urban centers (Legacy West, Heritage 190, and Beacon Square). 

Public Safety

  • All public safety departments have been active participants in the Plano Tomorrow process.  Public Safety Department representatives presented information to the Planning & Zoning Commission and were active participants in drafting language.

Public Outreach

  • A thorough public outreach campaign was conducted as part of the planning process, which included public workshops, public hearings, open houses, on-site meetings, online surveys, and several detailed work sessions with the Planning & Zoning Commission. Nearly 4,000 individuals have participated with the draft plan’s policies and actions. Three draft plans have been presented to the Planning & Zoning Commission to reflect desires of the community.
  • The P&Z workshop held May 21 resulted in numerous and varied comments available here:  Concerns about multifamily housing resulted in changes to the plan. These changes included:
  • Removing transit-oriented developments, mixed use developments, and self-contained high rise developments as appropriate uses within Expressway Corridors;
  • Stating preference for single-family uses within Neighborhoods;
  • Stating preference for single-family uses within Neighborhood Centers; and
  • Clarifying transit-oriented residential uses should be located within one-quarter to one-half mile walking distance of rail stations within the Transit Corridor.
  • Additionally, to ensure a standard of quality for mixed-use developments, a set of community design standards for mixed-use developments have been drafted and are under consideration by the Planning & Zoning Commission. Staff anticipates additional design standards for residential and commercial properties to follow, consistent with the recommendations in Plano Tomorrow.

Comparison with Plano’s previous Comprehensive Plan Maps

The following is a brief description of the similarities and among the previous Future Land Use Map and the new Plano Tomorrow Future Land Use Map:

  • Many of the same land use concepts from the previous plan are retained in the Plano Tomorrow Future Land Use Map. Several similar land use categories from the current plan have been combined and renamed reducing the number of designations from 14 to 9.
  • Single-family residential uses will continue to be the primary land use in Plano. Over 50% of the land area on the Plano Tomorrow Future Land Use Map is designated as “Neighborhood”.
  • The Plano Tomorrow plan builds on the importance of reserving undeveloped land for employment generating uses.
  • Both the previous plan and the Plano Tomorrow plan have a planning time frame of 20 to 30 years and identify the location of recommended land use activities around the city.

The following is a brief description of the differences among the previous Future Land Use Map and the new Plano Tomorrow Future Land Use Map:

  • The opportunities for additional housing have been reduced in the Plano Tomorrow plan as compared to the previous plan. The Plano Tomorrow plan states housing in not appropriate within employment centers and expressway corridors (a major change from the previous plan), and creates a new policy that provides preference of employment generating uses within the city’s remaining vacant land. While mixed-use developments may still be appropriate within Neighborhood Centers, Regional Centers, Compact Complete Centers, and the Transit Corridor (1/2 mile radius from stations), it is not a recommendation that these entire centers should be developed for mixed-use or residential development. Rather, these are areas seen as potentially suitable. All zoning cases are judged on their individual merits, site context, and conformity to the comprehensive plan. 
  • The previous Comprehensive Plan (Mixed-Use Policy) states mixed-use development may be appropriate in neighborhood centers. The Plano Tomorrow Future Land Use Map specifies the type of residential uses that would be appropriate for a mixed-use neighborhood center and states the preference of single-family uses.  
  • The previous Land Use Map did not include mixed-use as a use classification. Mixed-use projects were evaluated with the interim Mixed-Use Policy. The Plano Tomorrow plan identifies five areas as Compact Complete Centers which are situated around major catalysts such as retail centers (Legacy, Willow Bend, Collin Creek Mall) or future rail stations. However, the type and quantity of housing is not a part of the Plano Tomorrow plan and will be regulated by zoning as property develops or redevelops.  As typical, any changes would need to go through the standard public process for rezoning.
  • The new land use categories from the Plano Tomorrow plan are more specific in terms of appropriate uses found within each designation. Photo examples of each land use category are also included as part of the plan.
  • A greater focus is placed on aging and underutilized retail centers (four-corner retail; Collin Creek Mall). The city has three times the national average of retail space which may not be sustainable, and the plan makes an effort to reduce the retail square footage within the city.
  • The  Plano Tomorrow plan includes a Growth and Change Map.  This map identifies areas within the city where new growth may occur, where redevelopment may occur, and identifies areas of Plano that should be conserved and enhanced in its existing form.  The Growth and Change Map identifies 80% of the city’s land area should be conserved and enhanced in its existing form or should remain open space. This emphasizes the importance of preserving Plano’s existing form and suburban character.