Area Planning is a logical extension of a city's Comprehensive Plan in order to achieve a balanced growth pattern. Area Planning also allows long term planning for areas that have major development opportunity or are experiencing imminent land use changes, areas that face deterioration or abandonment, or areas that need to plan for the introduction of specific uses such as a mixed use development, logistics, and industrial center, or commercial districts.
The process for Area Planning allows for community members and stakeholders to provide input, create a shared vision, and influence future development policies for a specific area. Area Planning gives the city the ability to address a localized challenge across city departments and creates public support for implementing a plan of action.
An Area Plan is a document that provides guidelines for specific policy actions consistent with the vision of the Denton 2040 Comprehensive Plan and with the community vision drafted in the Area Plan. Area Plans provide the City the ability to address more refined and specific planning and development challenges and opportunities at a scale more specific to individual neighborhoods, districts, centers, or corridors. Area Plans can identify needs for new Overlay Districts within the plan, identify areas for city-initiated zonings, identify other code amendments, and call for Capital Improvement Projects to be focused in the area.
Future Area Plans
The City will be preparing Area Plans starting January 2023. Throughout the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council work session presentations related to the adoption of the Denton 2040 Comprehensive Plan, Area Plans were identified as one of the Commission's and Council's implementation priorities. Policies and actions in the Denton 2040 Comprehensive Plan calls for the creation of Area Plans to address challenges and preserve and enhance the character of distinct areas. On April 5, 2022, the City Council gave staff direction to proceed with the preparation of the top three identified Area Plans - Northeast Denton Area Plan, Southeast Denton Area Plan, and the update to the Downtown Master Plan – to create a community-based vision for the long-term success of each respective areas. At the meeting, the City Council directed staff to start with the Northeast and Southeast Denton Area Plans first and then to follow with the Downtown Master Plan Update.
Northeast Denton Area Plan
The goal of the Area Plan is to establish a vision for the area, as well as set clear policy direction and supporting implementation strategies for how Northeast Denton should develop over time. The Northeast Denton Area Plan proposed study area is generally bounded by FM 428 to the north and west, Loop 288 and University Drive to the south, and the Greenbelt and Floodplain area associated with the Elm Fork Trinity River and Lake Lewisville to the east. The study area is approximately 6,789.59 acres and contains approximately 679 parcels. Approximately 3,268.35 acres (48.14%) of the study area is located within the City’s corporate limits, while the remaining 3,521.24 acres (51.86 %) is located within the City’s Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ). The main reason for the Area Plan is to respond to the development pressure that is being experienced in the area. Recently there have been several large development proposals and zoning change requests in the area that were denied by City Council. Major concerns raised by the community during the public hearings include the incompatible land use and density proposed, increase traffic as a result of development, lack of open space and public amenities included in the projects, and the lack of overall environmental protection in the area. At a minimum, the following topics will be addressed in the Area Plan, as well as any additional key topics that are identified as part of the public engagement efforts: Land Use and Density; Mobility; Land Preservation/Open Space; Recreational Amenities; and Historic Preservation. It is anticipated that the project will take approximately 10 months, commencing in December 2022 with a completion date in October 2023.
Southeast Denton Area Plan
The goal of the Area Plan is to establish a vision for the area, as well as set clear policy direction and supporting implementation strategies, in order to preserve the cultural character of the Southeast Denton neighborhoods where desired by the residents and stakeholders, at the same time addressing the development pressures being felt within and adjacent to the study area. The Southeast Denton study area is generally bounded by McKinney Street to the north, Bell Avenue and Dallas Drive to the west, Teasley Lane and Shady Oaks Drive to the south, and Woodrow Lane to the east. The Area Plan study area is approximately 600 acres and contains approximately 1,100 parcels. Given the size and diversity of the study area, sub-districts/areas will be part of the Area Plan. An important part of the Area Plan is to build community trust and a partnership with the community. Currently, community trust is low based on previous public hearing outcomes. The Area Plan will identify those topics that are important to the residents and stakeholders for preserving the current cultural character and land uses, as well as identify areas where change can occur. At a minimum, the following topics will be addressed in the Area Plan, as well as any additional key topics that are identified as part of the public engagement efforts: Land Use and Compatibility; Transportation; Housing; Infill and Redevelopment; Historic Preservation; Open Space; and Infrastructure and Utilities. It is anticipated that the project will take approximately 10 months, commencing in January 2023 with a completion date in November 2023.
Downtown Master Plan Update
The goal of the Downtown Master Plan Update is to evaluate the vision for the Downtown and surrounding area, as well as set clear policy direction and supporting implementation strategies that will continue the economic growth of Downtown, enhance pedestrian experience, and preserve the character of the Downtown. The Downtown Master Plan Update will confirm if the vision and goals for Downtown are still relevant today and for the near future. The existing Downtown Master Plan is 20 years old, and the subsequent Downtown Implementation Plan (DTIP) is 12 years old. The Downtown Master Plan and DTIP direct public and private investments in Downtown hence why the city still needs to make sure the vision and goals are still valid. Additionally, the update will evaluate if the Downtown should be expanded in size to maximize future opportunities, identify additional open space, increase housing choices, enhance mobility connectivity, and balance development while protecting existing neighborhoods and historic resources. At a minimum, the following topics will be addressed in the Area Plan, as well as any additional key topics that are identified as part of the public engagement efforts: Land Use and Compatibility; Housing; Parking; Open Space and Gathering Places; Economic Development; Infill and Redevelopment; Infrastructure and Utilities; Urban Design; Walkability; and Historic Preservation. It is anticipated that the project will take approximately 10 months, commencing in February 2023 with a completion date in December 2023.