The Texas Downtown Association recognized the City of Allen for its unique approach to downtown revitalization, naming the Downtown Allen Steering Committee as a finalist for its 2022 Resiliency Award.
Steering committee chair Tommy Baril and City of Allen Community Development Director Marc Kurbansade were invited to present about the citizen-led planning process at the Texas Downtown Conference held November 1-4 in San Marcos.
Though Allen was named runner-up for the Resiliency Award, Baril said the “Downtown Allen: Dare to Dream” project received a lot of attention and praise from other Texas communities. Allen’s planning process was distinctive, said Kurbansade, because it was led by community members with support from consultants and City staff.
The Downtown Steering Ad Hoc Committee, appointed by Allen Mayor Ken Fulk, presented the Downtown Allen Revitalization Plan to councilmembers in July, following nearly a year of community input through workshops, events, surveys and meetings. The plan provided a vision, goals and an implementation plan to revitalize Allen’s downtown and turn it into the vibrant heart of the city.
Downtown Allen planning update: What’s next?
The City of Allen Community Development Department is currently working with a consultant to propose changes to the Allen Land Development Code. These formal standards will help align future development with the community’s vision for Downtown Allen. In addition, City Council has provided direction to consider modifying the current composition and duties of the Central Business District Design Review Committee, which currently reviews construction and design plans within Downtown Allen.
Throughout this process, Community Development staff have continued meeting with downtown business and property owners to ensure proposed changes accurately interpret the stated vision for Allen’s downtown area.
Kurbansade expects Allen City Council will be presented with proposed Allen Land Development Code amendments in early 2023. Once development codes are in place, Downtown Allen will be ready for a “catalyst project” – likely a public-private partnership that will anchor initial development in Allen’s downtown.