Plano, Texas

Plano, Texas
City of Plano
—  City  —


Nickname(s): An All-American City, P-Town, Plain-O, Gymnastic Capital of the World[1]
Location of Plano in Collin County, Texas
Coordinates: 33°03′01″N 96°44′45″W / 33.05028°N 96.74583°W / 33.05028; -96.74583Coordinates: 33°03′01″N 96°44′45″W / 33.05028°N 96.74583°W / 33.05028; -96.74583
Country United States
State Texas
Counties Collin & Denton
 – Type Council-Manager
 – City council Mayor Phil Dyer
Pat Miner
Ben Harris
Mabrie Jackson
Lissa Smith
Harry LaRosiliere
Jean Callison
Lee Dunlap
 – City manager Bruce D. Glasscock
 – City 71.6 sq mi (185.5 km2)
 – Land 71.6 sq mi (185.5 km2)
 – Water 0.1 sq mi (0.2 km2)
Elevation 675 ft (206 m)
Population (2010)
 – City 259,841 (city proper)
 – Density 3,820.2/sq mi (1,474.99/km2)
 – Metro 6,145,037
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 – Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 75000-75099
Area code(s) 214, 469, 972
FIPS code 48-58016[2]
GNIS feature ID 1344166[3]

Plano (play /ˈpln/) is a city in the state of Texas, located mostly within Collin County. The city's population was 259,841 at the 2010 census, making it the ninth-largest city in Texas (Corpus Christi is ranked at #8 and Laredo is ranked at #10) and the 71st most populous city in the United States.[4] Plano is located within the metropolitan area commonly referred to as the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. The city is home to many corporate headquarters, including Alliance Data, Cinemark Theatres, Dell Services, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Ericsson, Frito-Lay, HP Enterprise Services, J. C. Penney, Pizza Hut, Rent-A-Center, and Siemens PLM Software.

In 2005, Plano was designated the best place to live in the Western United States by CNN Money magazine. In 2006, Plano was selected as the 11th best place to live in the United States by CNN Money magazine.[5] Plano schools consistently score among the highest in the nation. It has been rated as the wealthiest city in the United States by CNN Money[6] with a poverty rate of less than 6.4%. In 2008, selected Plano, University Park, and Highland Park as the three "Top Suburbs To Live Well" of Dallas.[7] The United States Census Bureau declared Plano the wealthiest city of 2008 by comparing the median household income for all U.S. cities whose populations were greater than 250,000.[8] The annual Plano Balloon Festival and the Plano International Festival are two of the city's premiere cultural and entertainment events. In October 2010, Forbes magazine named Plano the safest city to live in America with a population greater than 250,000.[9]



Plano, Texas in 1891. Toned lithograph by A.E. Downs, Boston. Published by T. M. Fowler & James B. Moyer. Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas

Settlers came to the area near present-day Plano in the early 1840s.[10] Facilities such as a sawmill, a gristmill, and a store soon brought more people to the area. Mail service was established, and after rejecting several names for the budding town (including naming it in honor of then-President Millard Fillmore),[11] the locals suggested the name Plano (from the Spanish word for "flat"), a reference to the local terrain. The name was accepted by the post office.[11] In 1872, the completion of the Houston and Central Texas Railway helped the city grow, and the city was officially incorporated in 1873.[11] The population grew to more than 500 by 1874.[10] In 1881, a fire raged through the central business district, destroying most of the buildings.[10][11] The town was rebuilt and business again flourished through the 1880s.

The population of Plano initially grew slowly, reaching 1,304 in 1900 and increasing to 3,695 in 1960.[10] By 1970, Plano began to feel some of the boom its neighbors had experienced following World War II. A series of public works projects and a change in taxes that removed the farming community from the town helped increase the overall population of Plano. In 1970, the population reached 17,872,[10] and by 1980, the population had exploded to 72,000.[10] Sewers, schools and street development kept pace with this massive increase, largely due to Plano's flat topography, grid layout and planning initiatives. The Plano Independent School District (PISD) was formed in 1975.[citation needed]

During the 1980s, many large corporations moved their headquarters to Plano, including J. C. Penney and Frito-Lay, which helped the city grow. By 1990, the population reached 128,713[10], dwarfing the county seat of McKinney. In 1994, the city was recognized as an All-America City.[12] By 2000, the population grew to 222,030,[10] making it one of the largest suburbs of Dallas. Plano is completely locked in by other municipalities and cannot expand in area, and there is little undeveloped land remaining within the city limits.

Among other sports accolades, Plano is home to the World Olympic Gymnastics Academy (WOGA), the training ground of 2004 and 2008 Olympic All Around Champions, Carly Patterson and Nastia Liukin. The gym is owned by Patterson's coach, Yevgeny Marchenko, and Liukin's coach and father, Valeri Liukin.

Media attention over suicide and heroin use among Plano students

Plano students achieved notoriety following a cluster of nine suicides in 1983 that raised national awareness about suburban teenage depression. Most of the suicides were committed by carbon monoxide poisoning, but some were the result of gunshot wounds. Plano students were again in the news in the late 1990s due to a city-wide heroin problem. The surge in heroin use was the focus of coverage by several major news outlets such as NBC's Dateline and MTV's "Wasted." Heroin use in Plano eventually led to more than a dozen overdose deaths of teenagers and young adults. Many non-fatal overdoses were reported. As a result, the Plano Police Department launched an undercover investigation known as "Operation Rockfest." The investigation led to 84 drug cases against 33 adults and four juveniles, including 14 students enrolled in Plano schools.[13]

In July 2003, Taylor Hooton, a student athlete at Plano West Senior High School, committed suicide. His family believed the suicide was connected to depression caused by the use of steroids used for performance enhancement. Much like the city's suicide and heroin issues of the 1980s and 1990s, this incident drew national focus to the issues of high school athletes and steroid use. Chris Wash was featured on the cover of the December 20, 2004, issue of Newsweek magazine wearing a Plano West Senior High School shirt in an article about the use of steroids in high schools. On March 10, 2005, Don Hooton (the father of Taylor) testified before a Congressional subcommittee about the use of steroids in high school. This event was widely covered, as several prominent baseball players, including José Canseco and Mark McGwire, also testified. This event was also covered in the critically acclaimed documentary Bigger, Stronger, Faster about steroid culture.


Haggard Park, Downtown Plano

According to the United States Census Bureau, Plano has a total area of 71.6 square miles (185.5 km2).

Plano, Texas
Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: NWS


Plano is considered to be in the humid subtropical climate zone. The highest recorded temperature was 118°F in 1936. On average, the coolest month is January and the warmest month is July. The lowest recorded temperature was -7°F in 1930. The maximum average precipitation occurs in May.


The tracks and adjacent platforms at the Parker Road DART station in Plano, Texas

Plano is one of 12 suburbs in the Dallas area that opts into the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) public transportation system. During most of its membership in DART, Plano was lightly served by bus lines, but in recent years, the Red Line of the DART Light Rail project has opened stations in Downtown Plano and at Parker Road, which provide access to commuters traveling to work elsewhere in the Dallas area. Approximately 1% of the city's population uses DART.

Plano was the first city in Collin County to adopt a master plan for its road system. The use of multi-lane, divided highways for all major roads allows for higher speed limits, generally 40 mph (64 km/h), but sometimes up to 55 mph (89 km/h) on the northern section of Preston Road. Plano is served directly by several major roadways and freeways. Central Plano is bordered to the east by U.S. Highway 75, the west by Dallas North Tollway, the south by President George Bush Turnpike, and the north by Texas State Highway 121. Preston Road (Texas State Highway 289) is a major thoroughfare that runs through the city.


Local government

According to the city’s most recent Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the city’s general fund had $194.0.million in Revenues, $212.3 million in expenditures, $277.5 million in total assets, $31.4 million in total liabilities, and $337.2 million in cash and investments.[14] The structure of the management and coordination of city services is:[15]

City Department Director
City Manager Bruce D. Glasscock
Executive Director Development Frank Turner
Executive Director Public Services & Operations Rod Hogan
Director Public Works & Engineering Gerald Cosgrove
Director Environmental Health Brian Collins
Director Property Standards Cynthia O’Banner
Director Technology Services David Stephens
City Attorney Diane Wetherbee
City Secretary Diane Zucco
Director Parks & Recreation/Convention & Tourism Amy Fontenbury
Police Chief Greg Rushin
Fire Chief Hugo Esparza
Director of Emergency Management Shane Stovall
Director Public Works Jimmy Foster
Director Finance John McGrane
Director Library Services Cathy Ziegler
Director Budget & Research Karen Rhodes
Director Human Resources Lashon Ross
Director Customer/Utility Services Mark Israelson
Internal Auditor Mike Rogers
Director Sustainability & Environmental Services Nancy Nevil
Director Planning Phyllis Jarrell

State government

Plano is represented in the Texas Senate by Republican Florence Shapiro District 8, and in the Texas House of Representatives by Republican Van Taylor, District 66 and Republican Jerry Madden, District 67.

Federal government

At the Federal level, the two U.S. Senators from Texas are Republicans John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison; Plano is part of Texas' US Congressional 3rd District, which is currently represented by Republican Sam Johnson.


According to the Plano 2010 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[16] the top employers in Plano are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 HP Enterprise Services 6,000
2 Bank of America Home Loans 5,400
3 J. C. Penney 5,000
4 Dell 3,000
5 Alcatel-Lucent 2,400
6 Frito-Lay 2,400
7 Ericsson 2,200
8 Capital One 1,800
9 Medical Center of Plano 1,300
10 Dr Pepper Snapple Group 1,250

Approximately 80% of Plano's visitors are business travelers, due to its close proximity to Dallas and the many corporations headquartered in Plano. The city also has a convention center that is owned and operated by the city. Plano has made a concerted effort to draw retail to its downtown area and the Shops at Legacy in an effort to boost sales tax returns. The Shops at Legacy area has apartments, shops, and restaurants constructed with the new Urbanism philosophy.[17] An experimental luxury Walmart Supercenter is located at Park Boulevard and the Dallas North Tollway.[18]

Headquarters of major corporations

Some of the country's largest and most recognized companies have their headquarters in Plano. Tree-lined Legacy Drive in the 75024 ZIP code, between Preston Road and the Dallas North Tollway, has many corporate campuses. The following companies have headquarters or major regional offices in Plano:


There are 70 public schools, 16 private schools, two campuses of the Collin County Community College District (Collin College), and six libraries in Plano.[20]

Primary and secondary schools

The Plano Independent School District serves most of city. Student enrollment has increased dramatically over the past few decades. Plano has a unique high school system, in which grades 9-10 attend a high school and grades 11-12 attend a senior high.[21] There are three senior high schools (grades 11-12) in PISD; Plano East, Plano, and Plano West.[21] Small portions of Plano are served by the Lewisville Independent School District, Frisco Independent School District, and Allen Independent School District. In 2006, Plano Independent School District announced that 115 seniors were selected as National Merit Semifinalists, the largest in the district's history.[22] Plano has given $1.2 billion in property tax revenue to other school districts through the Texas[23] "Robin Hood" law, which requires school districts that are designated as affluent to give a percentage of their property tax revenue to other districts outside of the county. In 2008, PISD gave $86 million. Controversy erupted when the salaries of teachers in less affluent districts, like Garland ISD, exceeded the salaries of teachers in districts that had to pay into "Robin Hood".[citation needed]

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas operates Catholic schools. John Paul II High School is in Plano. Non-Catholic private schools in Plano include Plano Christian Academy, Great Lakes Academy, Prince of Peace Lutheran School, and Prestonwood Christian Academy. In addition, the Collin County campus of Coram Deo Academy is located in the One Church (previously Four Corners Church) facility in Plano.[24]

Colleges and universities

Entrance to the Spring Creek campus of Collin College in Plano, Texas

Plano is the home to two campuses of Collin College, one at the Courtyard Center on Preston Park Boulevard and the larger Spring Creek Campus on Spring Creek Parkway at Jupiter.[25] SMU-in-Plano, formerly SMU-in-Legacy, a branch of Southern Methodist University, is a graduate university serving the needs of 3,000 working professionals.[26] Its academic programs include business, engineering and computer training, education and continuing education. It also features The Guildhall at SMU, which offers a masters program in video game development.[27]

Public libraries

The Plano Public Library System (PPLS) operates public libraries. The system consists of the W.O. Haggard, Jr. Library, the Maribelle M. Davis Library, the Gladys Harrington Library, the Christopher A. Parr Library, the L.E.R. Schimelpfenig Library, and the Municipal Reference Library. The Haggard library houses the system's administrative offices.[28]


As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 259,841 people. in the 2000 census there were 80,875 households, and 60,575 families in Plano. The population density was 3,102.4 people per square mile (1,197.8/km2). There were 86,078 housing units at an average density of 1,202.8 per square mile (464.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 58.4% White, 8.00% Black, 0.36% Native American, 18.10% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 3.86% from other races, and 2.28% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 14.70% of the population.

Census figures from 2006 show some changes in the racial composition of Plano, with increases in the percentages of black (6.1%), Asian (14.7%), and Hispanic (14.4%) residents and a decrease in the percentage of white residents (75.6%).[29] There were 80,875 households. Of those, 42.0% had children under the age of 18. Married couples accounted for 64.3%; 7.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.1% were non-families. Approximately 20.2% of all households were individuals, and 2.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.73, and the average family size was 3.18.

Data indicates that 28.7% of Plano's population is under the age of 18, 7.0% is 18 to 24, 36.5% is 25 to 44, 22.9% is 45 to 64, and 4.9% who is 65 years of age or older. The median age is 34 years. For every 100 females, there are 99.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 97.2 males.

According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the city is $84,492, and the median income for a family is $101,616.[30] About 3.0% of families and 4.3% of the population live below the poverty line, including 4.6% of those under age 18 and 7.8% of those age 65 or over.

Plano was the highest income place with a population of 130,000 or more in 2000. Plano was ranked the most affluent city with a population over 250,000 in the United States with the lowest poverty rate of 6.3%. Its neighbor to the northwest, Frisco, was ranked the richest city for the population of under 250,000 in the United States with a 2.7% poverty rate. In 2007, Plano had the highest median income of a city with a population exceeding 250,000 in the nation at $84,492.[31] According to crime statistics, there were four homicides in Plano in 2006, the lowest homicide rate of all U.S. cities of 250,000 or more population.[32]

Population trends

Date Population Percent Gain
1874 500 0.00
1890 1,200 140.00
1900 1,304 8.67
1910 1,200 -8.67
1960 3,695 207.92
1970 17,872 383.68
1980 72,331 304.72
1990 128,713 77.95
2000c 222,030[33] 72.50
2010c 259,841 17.00
  • e: official estimate by the United States Census Bureau
  • c: decennial census figures as mandated by the Constitution

Sister cities

Plano has five sister cities[34] designated by Sister Cities International. This program's presence is seen in Plano ISD schools, where representatives from sister cities often meet and tour.

Notable residents

The following is a list of current residents of Plano, who have become famous outside of the community:

See also

Downtown Dallas from the Trinity River.jpg Dallas-Fort Worth portal


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  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ "2010 United States Census". 2010 United States Census. 2010. Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  5. ^ "Money Magazine Best Places to Live 2006". Money. Cable News Network. 2006. Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  6. ^ Christie, Les (2007-08-28). "The richest (and poorest) places in the U.S". Money. Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  7. ^ "In Depth: Top Suburbs To Live Well". 2008-03-25. Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  8. ^ "Plano leaders run from Census Bureau's 'wealthiest' designation". Dallas, Texas. Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  9. ^ Levy, Francesca (2010-10-11). "America's Safest Cities". Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h "Plano Timeline". Plano, Texas: City of Plano. 2011-02-17. Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  11. ^ a b c d Schell, Shirley; Wells, Frances B.. "Plano, TX". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  12. ^ "All-America Cities by State (1949–2009)". All-America City Award. Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  13. ^ "MTV documentary examines heroin use, Plano deaths". 1998-03-31. Retrieved 2009-09-08. 
  14. ^ "City of Plano CAFR". Plano, Texas: City of Plano. 2008. Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  15. ^ "City of Plano Executive Team Listing". Plano, Texas: City of Plano. Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  16. ^ "Plano 2010 CAFR". Plano, Texas: City of Plano. 2010. Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  17. ^ "Legacy Town Center". Plano, Texas: Legacy In Plano. Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  18. ^ Bivins, Ralph (2000-02-13). "The Woodlands becomes a leader in office construction". Houston Chronicle: pp. Business 8. Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  19. ^ "USA". Ericsson. 2004. Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  20. ^ "suva fiji island new york at". Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  21. ^ a b "Secondary schools". Plano, Texas. Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  22. ^ "National merit scholars". Plano, Texas. Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  23. ^ "Budget FAQ". Plano, Texas. 2008. Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  24. ^ "Collin County Campus." Coram Deo Academy. Retrieved on October 12, 2011. "Located at One Church- 2400 State Highway 121, Plano, TX"
  25. ^ "Campuses". Plano, Texas. Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  26. ^ "SMU Plano". Plano, Texas. Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  27. ^ "Guild hall/". Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  28. ^ "General Information." Plano Public Library System. Retrieved on October 17, 2011. "W.O. Haggard, Jr. Library 2501 Coit Road (75075 )" and "Library Administration 2501 Coit Road"
  29. ^ "Fact Sheet: Plano, Texas". American FactFinder. Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  30. ^ "Plano 2007 Income Estimates". 2007. Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  31. ^ "". Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  32. ^ "Offenses Known to Law Enforcement by State by City, 2006". Uniform Crime Report, 2006. FBI. 2007. Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  33. ^ "US Census: Texas by Place". 2000. Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  34. ^ "List of Plano's sister cities". Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  35. ^ "Hsinchu celebrates ties with its Texas sister city". Taipei Times. 2003-09-24. Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  36. ^ "Former Plano resident, 7-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong retires". Dallas Morning News. Dallas, Texas: Dallas Morning News. 2011-02-16. Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  37. ^ "Chace Crawford busted for pot possession". Reuters. 2010-06-04. Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  38. ^ "Boz Scaggs". Rock and Roll Biographies. 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  39. ^ Fong-Torres, Ben (2011). "Boz Scaggs: The Lowdown". The Official Boz Scaggs Fan Site. Boz Scaggs Music Community. Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  40. ^ Hathorn, Billy (2010). "Mayor Ernest Angelo, Jr., of Midland and the 96-0 Reagan Sweep of Texas, May 1, 1976". West Texas Historical Association Yearbook 86: 81–2. 

External links

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