Plano North February 2021

PLANONORTH EDITION

VOLUME 7, ISSUE 5  FEB. 22MARCH 17, 2021

ONLINE AT

2021

PRIVATE SCHOOL GUIDE

SCHOOL LISTINGS

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IMPACTS

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DINING FEATURE

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Vaccine rollout unfolds inPlano

Projects near US 75 pick up speed Eorts to refresh aging corridor could spur further investment

BY LIESBETH POWERS

The city of Plano is actively working to help residents who want COVID-19 vaccines receive them as soon as possible, ocials said. The current issue is a lack of supply, City Manager Mark Israel- son said. Demand for the vaccine in Collin and Denton counties far surpasses the number of doses either county has received. And that estimated demand is based only on those eligible for early phases of vaccination. “It’s not a matter of desire,” Israelson said. “It’s a matter of supply that we’re working through … And we want it [the process] to be as safe and as e- cient as we can possibly make it.” In the early stages of vaccine distribution, Collin and Denton counties received fewer vaccines in proportion to their populations than other counties. The counties’ health depart- ments and local leaders have pushed for equitable and clear standards for vaccine distribu- tion. But a return to normalcy may take longer than initially CONTINUED ON 22

BY OLIVIA LUECKEMEYER

Several key development projects aimed at breath- ing new life into Plano’s US 75 corridor are expected to make signicant progress in 2021. Zoning approvals for the Heritage Creekside, Col- lin Creek Mall and Plano Market Square Mall proj- ects date back to 2014. Residents should see pieces of those plans, which involve hundreds of acres and

hundreds of millions of dollars in investment, come to fruition this year, developers said. The timing and proximity of these projects is being driven by several factors, including Plano’s reputa- tion as a thriving business center. But the need to refresh the look and feel of this area makes sense given its age, said Peter Braster, the city’s director of

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$1B Collin Creek Mall redevelopment cost

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Developers revitalizing the former Collin Creek Mall will begin residential construction on the site in the coming months. This is one of several renewal projects happening in the vicinity of US 75. For a more complete map, see Page 20. (Liesbeth Powers/ Community Impact Newspaper)

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

THIS ISSUE

ABOUT US

Owners John and Jennifer Garrett launched the rst edition of Community Impact Newspaper in 2005 with three full-time employees covering Round Rock and Pugerville, Texas. We have expanded our operations to include hundreds of employees, our own printing operation and over 30 hyperlocal editions across three states. Our circulation is over 2 million residential mailboxes, and it grows each month with new residents and developments.

HIGHLIGHTS FROMTHISMONTH

FROMLEANNE: We are excited to introduce the newest member of our editorial team, William C. Wadsack. “Billy” is a tenured reporter, and after a stint working on our Frisco edition, he is now the senior reporter for Richardson and Plano. Please reach out to our expanded editorial team with any questions, comments or story ideas at plnfeedback@communityimpact.com. Leanne Libby, GENERALMANAGER

Community Impact Newspaper teams include general managers, editors, reporters, graphic designers, sales account executives and sales support, all immersed and invested in the communities they serve. Our mission is to build communities of informed citizens and thriving businesses through the collaboration of a passionate team. Our core values are Faith, Passion, Quality, Innovation and Integrity.

FROMOLIVIA: In this edition, we take a closer took at projects aimed at stimulating Plano’s aging US 75 corridor. We also delve into the complicated, ever-changing process of distributing vaccines to residents of Plano and beyond. Both of those stories start on the cover. Olivia Lueckemeyer, EDITOR

Our purpose is to be a light for our readers, customers, partners and each other.

WHATWE COVER

Sign up for our daily newsletter to receive the latest headlines direct to your inbox. communityimpact.com/ newsletter DAILY INBOX Visit our website for free access to the latest news, photos and infographics about your community and nearby cities. communityimpact.com LIVE UPDATES

MARKET TEAM GENERAL MANAGER Leanne Libby SENIOR EDITOR Olivia Lueckemeyer SENIOR REPORTER William C. Wadsack REPORTER Liesbeth Powers GRAPHIC DESIGNER Chase Autin ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Rebecca Anderson, Stephanie Burnett METRO LEADERSHIP PUBLISHER Christal Howard MANAGING EDITOR Valerie Wigglesworth ART PRODUCTIONMANAGER Breanna Flores CORPORATE LEADERSHIP GROUP PUBLISHER Traci Rodriguez EXECUTIVE EDITOR Joe Warner CREATIVE DIRECTOR Derek Sullivan SALES &MARKETING DIRECTOR Tess Coverman CONTACT US

BUSINESS &DINING Local business development news that aects you

TRANSPORTATION &DEVELOPMENT Regular updates on area projects to keep you in the know

SCHOOL, CITY & COUNTY We attend area meetings to keep you informed

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CORRECTION: Volume 7, Issue 4 A story on Page 20 titled “Closet Revival: Plano resale boutique oers designer trends at aordable price points” should have said that the resale boutique oers a wide variety of women’s clothing and accessories. Sizes accepted include 0-26 in bottoms and 0-4X in tops. Items not purchased are donated to Arms of Hope, a Christian nonprot that helps children and single mothers in need.

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PLANO NORTH EDITION • FEBRUARY 2021

SOUTH IMPACTS

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NOWOPEN 1 Ace Hardware Plano opened in September at 910 W. Parker Road, Ste. 100, Plano. The business offers a variety of paints, lawn and garden tools, home repair items, niche services and more. 469-431-2231. www.acehardware.com 2 Aspen Dental opened a new office Jan. 28 at 901 W. 15th St., Plano. The business offers a variety of routine dental services as well as cosmetic dentistry and dentures. 972-403-4001. www.aspendental.com 3 Insurance office Brightway, The Avant Agency opened Dec. 21 at 5152 Village Creek Drive, Plano. The agency specializes in home, condo, renters, flood, personal articles, auto, RV, motorcycle, boat and umbrella insurance policies from a variety of brands. 469-833-3030. www.brightway.com/ agencies/tx/plano-dallas/0346 4 Firehouse Chicago Style 6 opened Jan. 14 at 3100 Independence Parkway, Ste. 100, Plano. The restaurant serves steak, burgers, sandwiches, wings, salads and desserts. A website is not current- ly available for the restaurant, but the menu can be found on Yelp, the owner

said. 469-863-7333. www.yelp.com/biz/ firehouse-chicago-style-6-plano 5 Jaffa Mediterranean Cuisine opened its doors Jan. 16 at 3200 Alma Drive, Plano. The restaurant serves Israeli and Middle Eastern Mediterranean menu items as well as sandwiches, salads and Arabian coffee and tea. 469-573-6562. www.facebook.com/jaffa-mediterranean- cuisine-100702008619612 6 Nasa Post n Print opened last fall in east Plano at 2100 14th St., Ste. 107. The store’s services include shipping with FedEx, DHL and the U.S. Post- al Service as well as notary public and mailbox rentals. 469-929-6566. www.nasapostnprint.com 7 Pistachio opened its chocolate and goods store Dec. 20 at 4101 E. Park Blvd., Plano. The store sells specialty choco- lates, including milk and white chocolates with almonds, pistachios and hazelnuts, as well as flavored nuts and seeds. Pis- tachio also offers Turkish delight, coffee, mixed gift packages and artificial flowers. 469-298-2506. www.pistachiotx.com 8 Plano business iCertified Geek opened fully to the public Jan. 12. The

store, located at 3131 Custer Road, Ste. 140, Plano, offers virus removal and protection, data recovery, water damage repairs, software and hardware up- grades, and repairs for broken screens and displays. The shop is equipped to work on iPads, iPhones, cell phones, and Mac and PC computers. 972-685-1669. www.icertifiedgeek.com 9 Stitches opened in downtown Plano on Jan. 29. The yarn boutique and lounge, located at 1029 E. 15th St., Plano, will offer open knit and class time in its crafting lounge space as well as a stock of yarn, hooks, apparel, toys and knitting needles in its boutique space. Handmade knitted and crocheted items will also be for sale. 469-606-9589.

Pistachio

COURTESY PISTACHIO

previously sold its goods at local farmers markets and events. 214-945-1890. www.furbabiesbakery.com 11 Latin Deli is expected to open in March at 2237 W. 15th St., Plano. The restaurant and catering busi- ness offers breakfast, salads, sand- wiches and desserts. 214-363-5551. www.latindelidallas.com 12 Pottery Barn will open next to the Whole Foods at 2201 Preston Road, Plano. An opening date has not been con- firmed. The home furnishings chain offers furniture, bedding, kitchenware, lighting fixtures, window coverings, bath linens, wall decor, children’s items and more. www.potterybarn.com 13 Valerie’s Taco Shop expects to open in mid-to-late February at 1130 N. Central Expressway, Plano. The Mexican restaurant will sell a variety of meat and vegetable tacos, burritos, quesa- dillas and sides. This will be the second Texas location for Valerie’s Taco Shop. A phone number and full menu for the Plano taco shop will be available soon. www.valeriestacoshop.com

www.stitcheslounge.com COMING SOON

10 FurBabies Bakery plans to open a retail location by the end of February at 1012 E. 15th St., Plano. The new location in historic downtown Plano is the former home of Pipe & Palette. The pet bakery offers homemade cakes and treats for dogs, such as PupaRoons and Miley’s Doggie Fries. FurBabies Bakery has

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The pool is expected to open during Memorial Day weekend in 2022.

RENDERING COURTESY CITY OF PLANO

FEATURED IMPACT IN THE NEWS Construction is underway on a new outdoor pool at Oak Point Recreation Center. The $10 million renovation project was approved by Plano voters as part of the 2017 bond referendum, according to a Jan. 25 city news release. The facility will include a wave pool, a splash pad, an elevated play structure, a family pool, rentable cabanas, concessions and more. The pool will have entries on both sides as well as shallower deep ends, making it a more “inclusive atmosphere for patrons of all ages and ability levels to enjoy,” the release stated. It is being designed by Weston & Sampson and built by CORE Construction. The recreation center, located at 6000 Jupiter Road, will remain open during construction. The pool is expected to open during Memorial RELOCATIONS 14 Premier Grilling opened its new Plano location Feb. 1 at 3308 Preston Road, Ste. 380. The store will continue to offer the same items and services in its new space, including grills, smokers, grilling tools and accessories, seasoning and sauces. 855-744-7455, ext. 100. www.premiergrilling.com 15 Williams Sonoma will close its loca- tion at 1900 Preston Park Blvd., Ste. 130, Plano, and move across the street this summer. The new store will be located at 2201 Preston Road, Plano. The Califor- nia-based company sells kitchenware and home furnishings, among other items. www.williams-sonoma.com NEWMANAGEMENT 16 Rita’s Grooming Spa became the new name of the pet grooming shop

Day weekend in 2022, per the release. For more information on the recreation center and the project, visit https://tx-plano4.civicplus. pro/1465/Oak-Point-Recreation- Center.

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at 1820 Coit Road, Ste. 107, Plano, the week of Jan. 18. The shop, previous- ly known as Regalia Pet Salon under different ownership, offers pet groom- ing using all-natural products for dogs and cats of all sizes. 469-734-1702. www.ritasgroomingspa.com ANNIVERSARY 17 The Auto Shop celebrated 40 years of business in Plano on Jan. 15. The full-service automotive repair shop, located at 2560 E. Plano Park- way, Plano, offers services for brake systems, cooling and heating systems, and exhaust systems. Also offered at The Auto Shop are maintenance services and services for electrical systems, fuel systems, suspension systems, drive train systems and emissions. 972-578-0588. www.theautoshop.com

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PLANO NORTH EDITION • FEBRUARY 2021

NORTH IMPACTS

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COURTESY DAQ’S LUXURY DAIQUIRI LOUNGE

NOWOPEN 1 Angry Bee CrossFit & BootCamp opened Oct. 31 at 2865 McDermott Road, Ste. 200, Plano. The facility offers a group-driven community to meet clients’ fitness goals through workout programs and training. 469-849-3074. www.angrybeeplano.com 2 Daq’s Luxury Daiquiri Lounge ex- pected to hold its grand opening Feb. 16. The restaurant offers drive-thru daiquiris in various flavors as well as other drinks and food at 8700 Preston Road, Plano. Daq’s delivery will soon be available from Uber Eats and DoorDash. 469-200-5881. www.daqsallfolks.com 3 Golden Boy Coffee & Wine Bar opened Feb. 8 at The Boardwalk at Gran- ite Park, 5880 SH 121, Plano. The coffee and wine bar offers signature drinks as well as food options such as break- fast tacos, charcuterie boards, baked goods and snack boxes. 214-499-6726. www.goldenboycoffee.com/plano 4 Meineke began offering service and repairs in Plano on Jan. 11. The shop, located at 3021 W. Spring Creek Parkway, offers oil changes, brake maintenance, tire inspections and alignments among

other services. 469-557-1667. www. meineke.com/locations/tx/plano-2750 5 PT Solutions Physical Therapy opened its practice in Plano late last fall at 8200 Preston Road, Ste. 125, Plano. Services at PT Solutions in- clude general physical therapy, con- cussion rehabilitation, movement disorder rehabilitation, performance enhancement and stroke rehabilita- tion, among others. 972-805-2355. www.ptsolutions.com/clinics/plano 6 Wincrest Orthodontics began serving patients Feb. 8 at 7110 Preston Road, Ste. 100, Plano. Dr. Ben Winters and his staff offer orthodontic care such as braces and Invisalign as well as teeth-whitening services. The practice is accepting new patients and schedul- ing appointments now. 214-396-9160. https://wincrestorthodontics.com COMING SOON 7 Boxochops expects to begin offering authentic small chops, a Nigerian pastry that can be savory or sweet, in late Feb- ruary. The kitchen previously took home orders and served food for social and corporate events. At its new restaurant location at 8500 Ohio Drive, Ste. 200, Plano, Boxochops will offer a variety of

small chops, which come in various forms. 469-844-3412. www.boxochops.com 8 Ebb & Flow , a dining concept in Deep Ellum, is expanding to Plano with a new location at The Shops at Legacy, 7300 Lone Star Drive, Ste. C125. The restaurant expects to open this March. Ebb & Flow will serve original cocktails, salads and appetizers as well as burgers, sandwiches and full-size entrees. The space in Plano is 3,000 square feet of dining room and a bar space with an additional 1,000 square feet of patio space. 972-913-2322. www.ebbandflowtx.com 9 Construction on the Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Plano Legacy Park West in the 6200 block of Tennyson Parkway, Plano, is expected to begin this fall. Work on the 127-room hotel was initially expected to begin last June but was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Construction is expected to be complete in December 2022. www.hilton.com/en/hampton RELOCATIONS 10 Halal meat store Farm2Cook plans to relocate in February to 832 W. Spring Creek Parkway, Ste. 302, Plano. Farm- 2Cook offers organic meat processed in compliance with Islamic religious

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Golden Boy Coffee &Wine Bar

COURTESY GOLDEN BOY COFFEE & WINE BAR

requirements to be considered halal. In addition to Farm2Cook’s current location at 700 W. Spring Creek Parkway, Ste. 114, Plano, the business also has shops in Frisco and Irving. 214-713-7784. www.farm2cook.com CLOSINGS 11 Snap Kitchen closed its location at 5717 Legacy Drive, Plano, in November. The Austin-based chain specialized in health-focused, premade meals, snacks and juices. Snap Kitchen products are still available at Whole Foods Market loca- tions in Plano, Richardson and Addison. 844-376-2779. www.snapkitchen.com

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COMPILED BY LIESBETH POWERS & WILLIAM C. WADSACK

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Legacy Hall’s newest additions include Dallas-based Leila Bakery & Cafe.

PHOTOS COURTESY LEGACY HALL

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The Italian Job

Yan Pan Asian

LOCAL HOT SPOT: LEGACY HALL Legacy Hall is changing up its

bourbon vanilla cup, campre s’mores and macarons. Bourbon Vanilla Ice Cream Co. is the creation of Whisk & Eggs founder and chef Julien Eelsen. www.legacyfoodhall.com/vendor/ bourbon-vanilla-ice-cream-co/ D FB Society’s latest concept, Buttercup , is set to open this spring at Legacy Hall. The chicken tender stall will oer tossed, topped or sauced tenders served in a cup or cone for easy dining on the go, according to the dining group. www.-society.com EXPANSION E The Italian Job has expanded into the space next door to add New York-style pizza to its menu. Pizza is sold by the slice or in 18-inch whole pies, and avors include cheese, pepperoni, veggie and white pie, among others, with options to create customer-specic toppings. www.italianjobusa.com

dining options this year with four new openings and an expansion at 7800 Windrose Ave., Plano. For more updates on Legacy Hall, call 972-846-4255 or visit www.legacyfoodhall.com. NOWOPEN A Yan Pan Asian is now open and is serving popular dishes from cultures throughout Asia, including spicy Thai curry and yakitori chicken robata. The dining concept was created by chef Chin Liang, who also opened Horu Sushi Kitchen and Chef Chin’s Hibachi and Ramen at Legacy Hall in 2019 and 2020. www.yanpanasian.com B Leila Bakery & Cafe is now open in Legacy Hall. This is the Dallas- based Leila Bakery & Cafe’s second location and features a unique menu option called the Cakelett, a guest creation with options for the sponge, frosting, llings and toppings. Other menu items include quiches, kolaches and traditional desserts. www.leilabakery.com COMING SOON C Bourbon Vanilla Ice Cream Co. is expected to open in February. The dining stall’s menu will include alcohol-infused traditional and soft- serve ice cream as well as alcohol- free ice cream creations, such as the

Our campus is open. Come for a tour today!

Challenger School offers uniquely fun and academic classes for preschool to eighth grade students. Our students learn to think for themselves and to value independence. Legacy (PS–K) (469) 573-0077 6700 Communications Parkway, Plano

Independence (PS–K) (469) 642-2000 10145 Independence Parkway, Plano Coming Soon

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An independent private school offering preschool through eighth grade

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PLANO NORTH EDITION • FEBRUARY 2021

TODO LIST

February & March events

Serving Plano for 27 Years! Please help us reach year 28.

Authentic Bavarian food & fun!

THROUGH FEB. 28

BLACKHISTORYMONTHMUSIC SERIES AND POPUPS LEGACY WEST

Don’t Miss Winter Fest!

Each Saturday in February from 6-8 p.m., Black artists perform at Legacy West, 5908 Headquarters Drive, Plano, as part of its Black History Month events. A pop-up for Black-owned businesses is also happening each Friday-Sunday of the month at the #shoplocal counter. Participating businesses include Be So Selsh and Chocolate Chick Tees. A new mural by local artist Desiree Vaniecia is located near Starbucks Reserve and Amorino. Free. www.legacywest.com. (Courtesy Legacy West)

Open Tuesday - Saturday: Lunch 11:00am - 3:45pm, Dinner 4:00 - 9:00pm 221W Parker Rd, Ste 527 • 972-881-0705 www.bavariangrill.com During cold weather months, Bavarians warm up with hearty dishes at their local Gasthaus.

www.planosymphony.org CELEBRATINGBLACK HISTORYMONTH INDFW THROUGH FEB. 24  THE BLACK FAMILY: REPRESENTATION, IDENTITY & DIVERSITY Collin College is hosting virtual music, visual arts, literature and dance performances in honor of Black History Month. Plano’s Studio 6a Dance Academy will perform at 7 p.m. Feb. 23. The college will also present a conversation with Tia Fuller, a jazz saxophonist, composer and educator, at 7 p.m. Feb. 24. Free. 972-548-6790. www.collin.edu/community/aahm FEB. 25  THE BIG DINNER: AFRICAN HERITAGE CELEBRATION The University of Texas at Dallas is hosting its annual Big Dinner virtually this year to close out Black History Month. In place of the traditional meal, the college will stream student performances as well as remarks by a guest speaker on the UT Dallas Multicultural Center’s YouTube page. 7 p.m. Free. 972-883-6390. www.utdallas.edu/multicultural THROUGH FEB. 28  BLACK HISTORY MONTH POETRY CONTEST This poetry contest, hosted by North Texas Performing Arts, is accepting poems that reect on Black history, culture, experiences and social justice issues until Feb. 28. The poems are judged in three age categories on the basis of originality and uniqueness. Poems must be original and be submitted via video link. Prizes range from $25-$100. Free. 972-422-2575. Additional submission guidelines can be found at https:// northtexasperformingarts.org/black- history-month-poetry-contest.

COMPILED BY LIESBETH POWERS FEBRUARY 22 PLANOARTS ONLINE ART CLASS This virtual art class is taught using watercolor paints and can be modied for colored pencils, markers and crayons. The class is suitable for all ages, according to Plano Arts and Events, and does not require registration. New classes are available every Monday at noon and are stored on the Plano Arts Facebook page so they can be streamed following the live event. Noon-12:45 p.m. Free. 972-941-5800. www.facebook.com/planoarts 25 THROUGH 27 “THEWIZARDOF OZ” A North Texas Performing Arts cast will act out “The Wizard of Oz” at the Willow Bend Center of the Arts, 6121 W. Park Blvd., Ste. B216, Plano. The classic tale follows Dorothy and her three friends down the yellow brick road on a journey to return Dorothy home. This is NTPA’s special 30th Anniversary production and will feature Managing Director Mike Mazur as the Wizard. Feb. 25-27. In-person and streaming tickets are available for $12-$20. 972-422-2575. www.northtexasperformingarts.org MARCH 20 MOZART & KV265: SCIENCE THROUGH ART This virtual Plano Symphony Orchestra concert combines a concert and lm with images from the Hubble Telescope. Russian pianist Mikhail Berestnev opens the concert with a Mozart concerto. The piece is followed by Modest Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition,” arranged by Maurice Ravel. The concert honors the Hubble’s 39th anniversary, which was marked in 2020. Plano Symphony Orchestra concerts are available for streaming. 8 p.m. $25. 972-473-7262.

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For more info about Summer Camp at The Behavior Exchange, join us at the DFW CHild Best Summer Ever virtual fair! March 26, 2021. Go to dfwchild.com to sign up.

Find more or submit Plano events at communityimpact.com/event-calendar. Event organizers can submit local events online to be considered for the print edition. Submitting details for consideration does not guarantee publication.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

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Timeline: March 2020-May 2021 Cost: $4.6 million Funding source: Texas Department of Transportation 5 Park Boulevard improvements Work continues on a project to improve five intersections along Park Boulevard, including at Coit Road, Custer Road, Alma Road, K Avenue and Jupiter Road. Crews will focus on two intersections at a time and are currently working at A Coit and B Jupiter. Crews will move to K or Custer once they are finished at Coit. Timeline: October 2020-October 2021 Cost: $4.2 million

COMPILED BY OLIVIA LUECKEMEYER ONGOING PROJECTS 1 Coit Road project Crews are making pavement and sidewalk repairs along Coit Road between Denham Way and Hedgcoxe Road. Northbound and southbound lanes will be affected on both stretches of road. One lane will re- main closed at all times, and an additional lane will be closed from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Timeline: January 2020-summer 2021 Cost: $6.4 million Funding source: city of Plano 2 Plano Parkway project Crews are working to repair a portion of Plano Parkway between Mira Vista Bou- levard and the Dallas North Tollway. One lane will be closed at all times, and an ad- ditional lane will be closed during the day An extensive project to repair pavement and sidewalks on Jupiter Road is currently affecting northbound and southbound lanes between Parker Road and Los Rios Boulevard. One lane will remain closed at all times, and an additional lane will be closed from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Timeline: January 2020-March 2021 Cost: $500,000 Funding source: city of Plano 4 Preston Road intersection project Crews are working on widening the bridge on the west side of the President George Bush Turnpike. Widening of the bridge just north of the intersection is now complete. on weekdays and some Saturdays. Timeline: June 2020-May 2021 Cost: $3.5 million Funding source: city of Plano 3 Jupiter Road project

Funding sources: city of Plano 6 Parker Road improvements

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A project to improve intersections along Parker Road is ongoing. Crews are cur- rently working at Alma Road. Construc- tion will move to Coit following comple- tion at Alma. Timeline: December 2020-May 2021 Cost: $2.1 million Funding sources: city of Plano 7 Legacy Drive pedestrian improvements The city is building a canopied walkway on the north side of the Legacy Drive bridge that connects the east and west sides of the Legacy development. The walkway will include protected pedestri- an and bike lanes. Demolition work in the median island began in early February on the south side of Legacy Drive. Crews ex- pect to move work to the median island on the north side of Legacy Drive by the end of the month. Timeline: November 2020-June 2021 Cost: $1.2 million Funding source: city of Plano

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ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UP TO DATE AS OF FEB. 10. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT PLNNEWS@COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM.

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PLANO NORTH EDITION • FEBRUARY 2021

GOVERNMENT City Council callsMay election for $364million in bond projects

BY LIESBETH POWERS

City Council chambers. If passed in its entirety, the average Plano homeowner can expect to see a maximum tax rate impact of $67.71 by scal year 2024-25. This estimate is based on current property values as well as expected home value growth and existing debt from previous city bonds, Budget Director Karen Rhodes-Whitley said. The tax rate impact is subject to change. City Council reduced a previously suggested $403.9 million package at the Jan. 25 meeting, with the largest cuts coming from proposed parks and recreation projects. At the Feb. 8 meeting, the seven propositions were cut down to six by including two proposed fueling stations for public safety vehicles in the overarching public safety proposition, rather than having the stations singled out on the ballot. The city of Plano will begin sharing

Registered voters in Plano will have the opportunity to weigh in on the passage of six bond propositions during the May 1 election. City Council on Feb. 8 ocially called for the roughly $364 million in projects to appear on the ballot. The most expensive project is street reconstruction and overlay, estimated at $100 million. City sta warned while preparing proposals that street improvements would drive up the price of the bond due to Plano’s aging infrastructure. The next highest project proposal is priced at nearly $21 million for park renovations. Each of the six propositions will include a number of projects grouped by departments or use, with the exception of a proposition calling for $15.9 million in renovations to the TomMuehlenbeck Center and another $5.5 million proposition to renovate

BREAKING DOWN THE BALLOT

Council chamber upgrades are included in the bond package. (Liesbeth Powers/ Community Impact Newspaper)

Propositions will be as follows, according to city documents. • Proposition A: $231 million in projects for street improvements • Proposition B: $81.9 million in projects for park and recreational facilities • Proposition C: $15.9 million for improvements to the Tom Muehlenbeck Recreation Center • Proposition D: $27.1 million in projects for public safety facilities • Proposition E: $5.5 million for improvements to existing municipal facilities • Proposition F: $2.5 million in projects for library facilities SOURCE: CITY OF PLANOCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

educational social posts, yers and presentations on the bond and its eect on residents March 1. Descrip- tions of each proposed project can be found online and in city documents from the Feb. 8 meeting. Bond money can be applied to other projects as needed once the total amounts are approved by voters. The bond election will be held in conjunction with City Council races for places 2, 4, 6—the mayoral seat— and 8, as well as the special election for Place 7. Early voting will run from April 19-27, and election day is May 1.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

WEATHER

Dayslong failure of portions of the state’s power grid left millions of residents in the Dallas Fort-Worth area and beyond with either intermittent power or no electricity at all. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)

Isolated power grid, winter weather leavesmillionswithout electricity

BY BEN THOMPSON

most or export it when it’s windy and mild here,” Daniel Cohan, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Rice University, said in an email. Winter collapse ERCOT stated in a Feb. 11 press release that it issued notices from Feb. 8-11 about the record cold temperatures expected to hit Texas and that generators were asked to prepare for the cold weather. On Feb. 14 ERCOT asked customers to reduce electricity use as much as possible. A Feb. 15 notice advised that the council began rotating outages at 1:25 a.m. due to emergency conditions. Despite some early warnings in the system, Krishnamoorti said he believes the state’s reliance on mar- ket conditions to manage supply and demand is partially responsible for the lack of power during the storm, given providers’ lack of incentive to begin production well in advance of a supply shortage. “We knew that it was going to get too cold for us to be able to generate enough wind, and there were turbine issues,” he said. “I think [it was] the lack of preparation to get coal-red power plants, natural gas-red power plants [and] nuclear going, having adequate natural gas supply, and having that started ahead of time. Really a lack of preparation.” Cohan also said insucient supply of natural gas, the state’s top source of generation capacity, was a key contributor to the blackouts. “The shortfall in natural gas supply

oversight from the Texas Legislature and the governor. According to the agency, its primary duties since 1999 have been to maintain electric system reliability, facilitate competitive wholesale and retail markets, and ensure open access to transmission. Ramanan Krishnamoorti, a chemical engineering professor and chief energy ocer at the University of Houston, said ERCOT’s longstand- ing independence also came from the state’s desire to avoid federal interference in its power grid. “The Texas uniqueness has really sort of stemmed from the idea that they did not want the federal government to dictate what happens with generation and distribution of electricity,” he said. While ERCOT does not own its own generation or distribution infrastruc- ture, it manages electricity service for more than 26 million Texans, or about 90% of the state’s electricity use, according to the company. As of late 2020, more than half of ERCOT’s generating capacity—some 51%—came from natural gas sources, followed by 24.8% from wind, 13.4% from coal, 4.9% from nuclear and 3.8% from solar, although generation levels throughout the state vary. While some regulatory benets of the insular system have been high- lighted by ERCOT ocials in the past, its disconnect from the continent’s larger grids has also left it prone to isolation issues during high-demand events, experts said. “It means that we can barely import any power when we need it

is about 20 times as large as the shortfall in wind supply, compared to expectations for a winter peak cold

Widespread power outages prompted by severe winter weather conditions throughout Texas in mid-February led to increased focus on the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, which manages statewide electric power ow. The dayslong failure of the state’s power grid, which is independent of the two larger interconnected systems that serve most of the U.S. and Canada, left millions of Texans without electricity. As blackouts and power restoration eorts continued for days, public ocials, including Gov. Greg Abbott, have called for an investigation of ERCOT. “Far too many Texans are without power and heat for their homes as our state faces freezing temperatures and severe winter weather,” Abbott said in a Feb. 16 statement. “This is unacceptable. Reviewing the prepa- rations and decisions by ERCOT is an emergency item so we can get a full picture of what caused this problem and nd long-term solutions.” ERCOT ocials did not respond to requests for comment. An independent system Texas’ power grid has long been controlled within the state, separate from the eastern and western inter- connects that cover North America. ERCOT was founded in 1970 to manage the power grid that covers most of the state. The council is now headed by a 16-member board of directors and regulated by the Public Utility Commission of Texas with

event,” he said. Planning ahead

This story reects the most up-to- date information as of press time. Stay tuned to communityimpact. com/pln for continuous coverage. “It’s important to prepare not just to reght this battle, but to be more resilient throughout the year and across a full spectrum of extreme weather and climate events,” he said. While smaller solutions, such as better home insulation and larger changes to Texas’s electric grid, could help mitigate problems during similar events in the future, Cohan said he hopes the state will take a broader range of issues into consideration. The statewide outages in February represent the fourth such event in ERCOT’s history, following rotating outages initiated in December 1989, April 2006 and February 2011. One result of the 2011 service interruptions, which were also caused by severe winter weather, was the publication of a compre- hensive federal report that outlined the past failures of power gener- ators to adapt their equipment to winter conditions. The report also recommended that ERCOT and other authorities make winterizing assessments, coordination, and related equipment and procedure updates a top concern.

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PLANO NORTH EDITION • FEBRUARY 2021

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12

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

CITY& COUNTY

News from Plano & Plano ISD

QUOTEOFNOTE “WE KNOWTHAT THERE’S A CALL FOR THE SERVICE, AND SOWE’LL CONTINUE TOWORK WITHOUR STATE LEADERS TOGET MORE DOSES HERE.” COLLIN COUNTY JUDGE CHRIS HILL REGARDING VACCINE DISTRIBUTION DURING A FEB. 4 PANEL DISCUSSION CITY HIGHLIGHTS PLANO The planning and zoning consulting company behind a 16.8-acre housing development along Parker Road withdrew its requested zoning change Feb. 1. This request, which would have allowed for smaller lot sizes on the property, had previously been tabled for discussions with neighboring residents. The applicants, Chen You-Hong and Hong Zhuang, are not expected to return with similar requests, city sta said. PLANO American First National Bank received approval from the Plano Planning and Zoning Commission on Feb. 1 for a replat and site plans. The bank rst submitted and received approval to separate its property along K Avenue and 19th Street into two plats in 2012. However, the plat was never led and later expired, as did associated concept plans. With renewed approval, the bank aims to subdivide the property into two lots, sell one lot with an existing oce building and relocate to a new building on the undeveloped lot, per a letter to commissioners. To prepare the land for sale, the bank will create easements for the existing oce and create a public way access point from K Avenue into the property, according to submitted paperwork. Plano City Council meets at 7 p.m. on the second and fourth Mondays of the month. Meetings are held at 1520 K Ave., Plano, and can be streamed at www.plano.gov/210/ plano-tv. Agendas are available at the city website. www.plano.gov Plano ISD board of trustees will meet March 2 at 6 p.m. in the PISD Administration Building’s board room at 2700 W. 15th St., Plano. 769-752-8100. www.pisd.edu MEETINGSWE COVER

PISD could face $10million loss in state funding

BY WILLIAM C. WADSACK

PLANO ISD As the district contin- ues its unprecedented school year, enrollment issues related to the pandemic could lead to a budget decit of around $10 million. Amid concerns about the spread of COVID-19, PISD has more than 2,000 fewer students enrolled than was projected for the current year. The Texas Education Agency uses average daily attendance to determine the amount of state funding each district receives. PISD Superintendent Sara Bonser said those 2,000-plus students represent about $10 million in funding that may not be available for the current semester. “[That] attendance funding represents about 4% of our annual budget,” Bonser said during a Jan. 12 PISD board of trustees meeting. “If you’re thinking of that in personnel units, it’s about 182 teachers.” TEA implemented a hold-harmless guarantee for the rst semester of the 2020-21 school year that ensured dis- tricts would receive their anticipated

Plano ISD enrollment for the current school year is more than 2,000 students lower than the district projected. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)

Education leaders throughout the state have urged TEA to extend the hold-harmless guarantee for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year because the loss of that expected revenue could lead to layos, hiring freezes or program cuts. At the state level, 82 members of the Texas Legislature—including Rep. Je Leach, RPlano—signed a Dec. 18 letter to TEA Commissioner of Education Mike Morath pushing for the extension. Even if hold-harmless funding is not extended, Bonser said PISD has no plans to lay o any teachers. Should it need to cover the possible $10 million budget decit, the district will dip into its reserves, she said.

funding, regardless of changes to attendance or enrollment. But TEA had not applied the guarantee to the spring semester as of Feb. 11. “No nal decision has been made regarding a possible extension to the hold harmless framework,” a TEA representative said in a statement to Community Impact Newspaper. Bonser said the district will just have to wait and see what decision will be made. “All the buses are running, all the teachers are working, all the lights are on,” Bonser said Jan. 12. “We’re paying all the bills and all the salaries in this very unusual year, and we need to be held whole for that. We should not be penalized for that.”

PlanoHousingAuthoritymakes headway on aordable community

EXCHANGE DR.

E. PARK BLVD.

N

BY LIESBETH POWERS

to any renter, and 179 units will be restricted to workforce households at 60% of the area median income, or a maximum gross income of approxi- mately $60,000. The building is expected to be a total of ve stories in height, with four stories above ground-oor parking, per the plans. The city of Plano acquired the property in 2002 before a former development was razed and a major- ity of the property was left vacant. This property and concept meets the inll housing utilization standards for Plano Housing Authority and, with zoning change approval, is available

PLANO A multifamily community meant to bring aordable housing to Plano received initial approval Feb. 1 from the Plano Planning and Zoning Commission. City of Plano sta requested a zoning change for 5.3 acres of land on the north side of Park Boulevard, just west of K Avenue, and presented a concept plan from the Plano Housing Authority for a 4.4-acre multifamily residence community on the land. Plans show a community with up to 226 apartments, made up of a mix- ture of one-, two- and three-bedroom units. Forty-seven units will be open

for tax credits from the Texas Depart- ment of Housing and Community Aairs and a possible bond allocation from the Texas Bond Review Board, the letter said. The concept plan, which was contingent upon approval of the zoning change, was approved by a vote of 7-1. If and when changes are made to the additional parcel of land, a revised concept plan will be brought before the zoning body. The project will also require approval from Plano City Council at a later date.

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PLANO NORTH EDITION • FEBRUARY 2021

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