Submitted by Anna Clark, City of McKinney
The City of McKinney has received the Celebrating Leadership in Development Excellence Award from the North Central Texas Council of Governments. McKinney is recognized for the comprehensive implementation strategy (Phase 2) of the McKinney Town Center Study Initiative. In 2009, the city was honored with a CLIDE award for Phase 1 of the same study.
Thirteen winners were selected from a field of thirty-nine applicants from across North Texas. The award was accepted at a ceremony at the NCTCOG Annual General Assembly luncheon on June 14. According to the NCTCOG, applications for the CLIDE Awards are accepted every two years. A select jury of nationally recognized experts reviews and chooses the awardees.
“The Town Center Study Initiative has truly been a community effort with support from the City Council, city staff, consultants, residents and businesses. It’s truly an honor for McKinney to be regionally recognized as a leader in the field,” said McKinney Deputy City Manager Rob Daake. “We understand the importance of our historic Town Center, and we are working hard to preserve its foundation while exploring smart development and revitalization.”
In 2006, McKinney initiated the Town Center Study in an effort to address the specific needs of McKinney’s historic Town Center. Since then, the city has worked closely with stakeholders to establish and implement a community-based vision for how McKinney’s Town Center should look, feel and function over the long-term.
In 2008, the Town Center Study Phase 1 Report and the associated illustrative vision (known together as the “Town Center Master Plan”) were approved by City Council. The Town Center Master Plan serves as a road map for the future by outlining preferred redevelopment concepts to ensure that future choices are consistent with the shared vision.
Over the past 4 years, the city has been focused on a comprehensive strategy of implementation in order to bring the vision to life. This strategy has included the completion of various planning and policy analysis activities in the Town Center that have led the way to several actions, including:
· A market feasibility analysis of the timing and scope of absorption of the Town Center vision
· A comprehensive analysis of the city’s land development regulations, which led to the drafting and approval of a form-based zoning code for the Town Center
· A Request for Proposals (RFP) for master development proposals from qualified private development teams for the redevelopment of 10 underutilized city-owned properties in the Town Center
· Analysis and implementation of the city’s first Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) for the Town Center
· A comprehensive parking analysis of the Town Center
· Award of almost $2 million in Sustainable Development grant funds from the NCTCOG
· Award of $400,000 in Brownfields Assessment grant funds from the Environmental Protection Agency
· Key capital investments in public infrastructure in the Town Center
· Ongoing marketing and extensive stakeholder engagement