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Strategic Plan | Vibrant community with lively destinations and successful commercial centers

Posted on: January 19, 2023

City Council takes next step in revitalizing Downtown by adjusting the area’s Land Development Code


JAN. 10, 2023 - The area formerly known as the Central Business District has now been rezoned and renamed the Downtown District, after City Council approved several amendments to the Allen Land Development Code.

More than a simple name change, this new redesignation defines what purpose each section of Downtown Allen will serve and sets the stage for the long-awaited revitalization of the area.

Community Development Director Marc Kurbansade, who presented this zoning change to City Council, described how this change will help make the community’s vision for Downtown Allen a reality.

“The Downtown Revitalization Plan that was provided to City Council in July 2022 by the Downtown Steering Committee represented the community’s vision for downtown,” said Kurbansade. “This new zoning action approved by City Council provides the guidelines and regulatory mechanisms to ensure that Downtown Allen is developed or redeveloped in concert with that vision.”

The new redesignation includes one overall district, the Downtown District, and three overlay districts to help further distinguish each area’s intended use. Each overlay district will also have its own corresponding residential density and building height limits. 


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Pictured: Map of Downtown District and Overlays

  • Downtown District (outlined in yellow): Replaces the Central Business District as the new overall district in Downtown Allen.
  • Cultural Core Overlay (blue): The central part of the Downtown District and the core area where the oldest storefronts from the early 1900s exist. It is intended to form the heart of the downtown through mixed-use development with active pedestrian-scale development.
  • Cottonwood Creek Overlay (green): Intended to serve as a mixed-use area focusing on activating Cottonwood Creek for pedestrians.
  • Residential Transition Overlay (red): Will support the revitalization of the Downtown District by providing for appropriate transitions between the higher-density commercial and mixed-use development in the Downtown District and the surrounding single-family residential neighborhoods.

“One of the outcomes of the Downtown Revitalization Plan was that our Downtown consists of different character areas,” said Kurbansade. “Downtown spans 241 acres of land, and certain sub-area have their own unique character that can be attributed to history, natural features, access to major thoroughfares and civic components.”

Kurbansade refers to the Cultural Core Overlay (marked in blue on the map above) as a good example of how this new zoning preserves the district’s unique character.

"The Cultural Core Overlay is where the remnants of the Downtown’s oldest buildings exist. With the new zoning regulations, this area will have lower density structures compared to other parts of Downtown and will be primarily non-residential in nature to reflect that historical character.”

This zoning redesignation is one of many steps taken in the Downtown Revitalization Plan and will open the way for the area’s development into the heart of Allen.

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