Carrollton has done considerable ground work to take every advantage of development opportunities generated by DART’s new Green Line Light Rail Transit Project, which is anticipated to begin service to Carrollton in late 2010. City has launched over 15 initiatives that support future transit-oriented development near the future transit stations Particular emphasis is being placed on the Downtown Carrollton Station and the Trinity Mills Station. The following summarizes the status of the initiatives that support the city’s transit-oriented development objectives.
Intent: The Renaissance Initiative was the initial comprehensive planning effort to establish a framework for station area planning, development along Belt Line Road between Josey Lane and IH-35E, assess economic and market demand conditions surrounding each rail station site, and develop conceptual land use plans for the areas surrounding each future rail station.
Status: The Renaissance Initiative was accepted by City Council in June 2002. Since that time the scope of the Downtown Carrollton Station has expanded to the point of becoming a major future transportation hub. As a result the city pursued an update to the Renaissance Initiative called Renaissance II. This second study is schedule for completion in August 2007.
Transit Center District Zoning
Intent: Establish special zoning standards tailored to support transit-oriented development.
Status: In March 2005 the planning boundaries were established by City Council to incorporate mixed-use development concepts in the Comprehensive Plan around the future light rail transit stations. The Transit Center District was created by City Council in April 2005. Staff reviewed the ordinance to insure consistency with other City ordinances.
Transit Center District Streetscape/ Landscape Standards
Intent: Establish special street design, streetscape, and landscape standards for Transit Center areas. Distinct styles of landscape, hardscape, and streetscape will help transform each area into an easily identifiable district with its own aesthetics.
Status: General guidelines have been developed and will be translated into specific standards in the General Design Standards. In February 2007, the Carrollton City Council adopted additions to the General Design Standards for urban street design standards for the Transit Center zoning districts.
Downtown Carrollton Station Master Plan
Intent: Craft a master plan for the ultimate multi-tiered Downtown Carrollton Station when additional light rail transit links are established by DART and DCTA.
Status: Phase One of the project was initiated in October, 2005 and completed in August 2006. Phase Two is awaiting federal funding agreement and is tentatively scheduled to begin in late 2007. Phase Two includes some engineering work to finalize the preferred plan for relocating Mercer Yard.
Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ)
Intent: Create a self-sustaining funding mechanism to support infrastructure development in the TOD areas.
Status: The reinvestment zone was created by City Council in January 2006. Dallas County has agreed to participate. The formation of the Board of Directors should be completed by August, 2007.
Intent: Acquire strategic parcels of land to create contiguous tracts for improved development and redevelopment opportunities.
Status: Four parcels have been acquired to date in the Downtown Carrollton Station area, including the site of the Foxworth-Galbraith lumber yard. One parcel (the old Home Depot) has been acquired in the Trinity Mills Station area. The City continues to seek the acquisition of other parcels throughout the Transit Center districts. The City is capitalizing on every opportunity to acquire property within the district. This land banking will result in the City having better control over future development.
Mercer Yard Relocation
Intent: Relocate the Mercer railroad yard out of the Downtown Carrollton Station area.
Status: Mercer Yard relocation is a component of the Downtown Carrollton Station master Plan. In February 2006, City Council endorsed the relocation of Mercer Yard to the east Belt Line industrial area. Staff has presented the concepts to DART and the railroad operators. Work is progressing on funding options and action schedules.
Belt Line Road Underpass
Intent: Design and construct several grade-separated rail crossings which will cause Belt Line Road in Downtown Carrollton to be lowered and the reconstruction of the IH-35E access roads.
Status: Schematic plans have been completed and over $30 million in funding has been committed to date from local, county, state and federal sources. Final cost estimate depends on the overall cost/ impact of IH-35E widening.
TOD Transportation and Parking Plan
Intent: Amend the city’s Transportation Plan to reflect traffic circulation needs in the TOD areas, and develop interim and long-range plans for off-street parking in the Downtown Carrollton Station area.
Status: City Council retained Jacobs Civil Engineering in October 2005 to update the Plan. Targeted completion is May 2007. Additionally, in July 2006 staff completed the construction of an 81-space interim parking lot at the corner of Carroll and Main Streets.
TOD Infrastructure Master Plan
Intent: Develop a long-range plan for infrastructure to support TOD development.
Status: City Council retained Birkhoff, Hendricks and Conway in February 2006 to prepare the master plan, which was completed in December 2006.
TOD Drainage Master Plan
Intent: Develop a regional storm water master plan for the Downtown Carrollton Station area in order to reduce land area devoted on a site-by-site basis to storm water retention facilities.
Status: City Council retained Nathan Maier Engineers in January 2006 to complete a drainage master plan to determine future infrastructure needs. A draft of this plan is currently being reviewed by city staff.
Intent: Construction of an overpass at IH-35E to provide an additional access point to the Trinity Mills Station TOD area and future development west of IH-35E.
Status: Project design is underway by TxDOT with schematic plans currently under review. Target start of construction is 2008.
Beginning in 2000, the Carrollton City Council began a planning process to capitalize on significant financial benefits of the rail stations through transit-oriented development (TOD). As demonstrated at Mockingbird Station in Dallas, Texas; Galatyn Park in Richardson, Texas and numerous other cities throughout the country, commuter rail stations can trigger new development and redevelopment on a massive scale. This planning process is on-going.
On February 5, 2008, the Carrollton City Council accepted a revised comprehensive plan for the downtown Carrollton area, centered around the Downtown Carrollton DART station..
Below are these reports, as well as other information.
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For further information about any of the reports below, please contact the City of Carrollton Engineering Department at 972-466-3200.
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