What is Density?

While reviewing the Future Land Use Dashboards of the DRAFT Comprehensive Plan 2021, you may notice that each future land use category includes a recommended density range (for example, 0.5 to 10 DUA in the Neighborhoods category).  And you may ask, what is DUA?  And what does that mean?

DUA is short for Dwelling Units Per Acre, which is a common way to measure the residential density in an area: the more dwelling units located on an acre of land, the higher the density.  Many zoning districts in Plano, especially those that allow apartments or townhomes, use DUA to set limits on the maximum residential density allowed in the district.

However, density alone does not guarantee the size, form, or use of a building.  Other components factor into the appearance and compatibility of developments, including building heights, setbacks, intensity, ownership type, unit size, and parking - all are important to understand the form of development.

Density Examples

Density Comparison by Housing Type 

Terms

DUA - Dwelling Units Per Acre

Dwelling Unit - A building, or portion of a building, that is used as the residence of a single household (or family).  For example:

  • A single-family home is typically one dwelling unit
  • a duplex is typically two dwelling units
  • an apartment is three or more dwelling units

same building form - different density

The following Plano examples show developments with a similar size and form but with different densities:

Same Building Different Density 1

Address: 6000 Columbus Ave (Legacy West)

HOUSING TYPE
Multifamily
Multifamily (Condominiums)
BUILDING HEIGHTS
29 stories
27 stories
DENSITY
156 DUA
45 DUA
INTENSITY & SCALE
High Intensity
High-Rise Scale
PARKING ORIENTATION
Structure Parking
BLOCK PATTERN & STREETSCAPE
Short Block Grid
Urban Streets
Same Building Different Density 2

Address: 7901 Windrose Ave (Legacy West)

SAME DENSITY - DIFFERENT BUILDING FORM

The following Plano examples show developments with a similar density, but different sizes, form, and use:
Same Density Different Building 1

Address: 6301 Windhaven Pkwy

HOUSING TYPE
Multifamily
Single-Family
BUILDING HEIGHTS
2-3 stories
2-3 stories
DENSITY
15 DUA
16 DUA
INTENSITY & SCALE
Low Intensity
Low/Mid-rise Scale
High Intensity
Low/Mid-rise Scale
PARKING ORIENTATION
Surface Lots & Garages
Garages & On-Street Parking
BLOCK PATTERN & STREETSCAPE
Gridded Blocks
Traditional Residential Streets
Short Block Grid
Urban Streets
Same Density Different Building 2

Location: Southwest corner of 18th St. & G Ave.


Density Examples

Densities for the following subdivisions were calculated using the density definition from the City of Plano Zoning Ordinance, which defines residential density as “the number of individual residential living units per acre of the site or lot on which they are located. Calculation of residential density shall be based on the net size of the property, exclusive of public and private street right-of-way, street easements, and park and open space accessible to the public.”

Heritage Creekside West Homes

9 DUA
Southwest of W Plano Rd. & Alma Dr.
  • Detached Single-Family (DSF)
  • 2 Stories
  • Garages & On-Street Parking
Heritage Creekside West

Madison Estates

10 DUA
Southeast of 14th St. & Jupiter Rd.
  • Duplexes
  • 2 Stories
  • Garages & On-Street Parking
Madison Estates

Village at Legacy

11 DUA
Northeast of Legacy Dr. & Custer Rd.
  • Patio Homes
  • 2 Stories
  • Garages & On-Street Parking
Village at Legacy

Horizon at Premier

11 DUA
North of Premier Dr. & Ruisseau Dr.
  • Multifamily
  • 1 Story 
  • Surface Lots & Garages
Horizon at Premier

Pheasant Landing

12 DUA
Northeast of 14th St. & Shiloh Rd.
  • Multifamily
  • 1-2 Stories
  • Surface Parking Lots
Pheasant Landing

Livingston Apartments

15 DUA
6301 Windhaven Pkwy.
  • Multifamily
  • 2-3 Stories
  • Surface Lots & Garages
Livingston Apartments

Rice Field

16 DUA
SW Corner of 18th St. & G Ave.
  • Detached Single-Family
  • 2-3 Stories
  • Garages & On-Street Parking
Rice Field

The Icon at Legacy West

18 DUA
SW Corner of Headquarters Dr. & Communications Pkwy.
  • Detached Single-Family
  • 2-3 Stories
  • Garages & On-Street Parking
The Icon at Legacy West

15th Street Village 1

21 DUA
SW Corner of 15th St. & G Ave.
  • Townhomes
  • 2 Stories
  • Garages & On-Street Parking
15th Street Village 1

Preserve at Preston

21 DUA
2523 Ohio Dr.
  • Multifamily
  • 2 Stories
  • Surface Lots
Preserve at Preston

Heritage Creekside West Townhomes

25 DUA
Southwest of W Plano Rd. & Alma Dr.
  • Townhomes
  • 2 Stories
  • Garages & On-Street Parking
Heritage Creekside West Townhomes

Cityscape at Market Center

30 DUA
3825 Mapleshade Ln.
  • Multifamily
  • 4 Stories
  • Garages, Surface Lots, & On-Street Parking
Cityscape at Market Center

Aura One90

33 DUA
680 Executive Dr.
  • Multifamily
  • 4 Stories
  • Garages, Structured Parking, & Surface Lots
Aura 190

McDermott 55

38 DUA
8312 Angels Dr.
  • Independent Living (55+)
  • 4 Stories
  • Surface Parking Lots
McDermott 55

Savannah at Gateway

41 DUA
401 Shiloh Rd.
  • Independent Living (55+)
  • 4 Stories
  • Surface Lots & On-Street Parking
Savannah at Gateway

Legacy Town Center Town Homes

42 DUA
Southwest of Legacy Dr. & Parkwood Blvd.
  • Townhomes
  • 3 Stories
  • Garages & On-Street Parking
Legacy Town Center Town Homes

Windrose Tower

45 DUA
7901 Windrose Ave.
  • High Rise Multifamily
  • 27 Stories
  • Structured & On-Street Parking
Windrose Tower

Huntington Apartments

58 DUA
4925 Rasor Blvd.
  • Midrise Multifamily
  • 5 Stories
  • Structured Parking
Huntington Apartments

Legacy Town Center North

65 DUA
5765 Bozeman Dr.
  • Midrise Multifamily
  • 4 Stories
  • Structured & On-Street Parking
Legacy Town Center North

Jada Legacy Central

85 DUA
6501 Excellence Way
  • Midrise Multifamily
  • 5 Stories
  • Structured & On-Street Parking
Jada Legacy Central

Junction 15

95 DUA
930 E 15th St.
  • Midrise Multifamily
  • 5 Stories
  • Structured & On-Street Parking
Junction 15

Kincaid at Legacy

118 DUA
7200 Dallas Pkwy.
  • High Rise Multifamily
  • 25 Stories
  • Structured & On-Street Parking
Kincaid at Legacy

LVL 29

156 DUA
6000 Columbus Ave.
  • High Rise Multifamily
  • 29 Stories
  • Structured & On-Street Parking
LVL 29


Density comparisons by housing type

The aerial images below show a range of densities for each of the Housing Types in the Comprehensive Plan.  All images are the same scale.

Single-Family Types

Oak Creek Estates

Oak Creek Estates

Legacy Village

Legacy Village

Icon at Legacy West

Icon at Legacy West

Townhome Types

Madison Estates

Madison Estates

Heritage Creekside

Heritage Creekside

Legacy Town Center

Legacy Town Center

Multifamily Types

Preserve at Preston

Preserve at Preston

Aura190

Aura190

Bel Air K Station

Bel Air K Station