Plano (IPA: [ˈpleɪnoʊ]) is a very affluent and upscale suburb of Dallas, Texas, located to the north, mainly within Collin County, but also extending into Denton County. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, the city population was 222,030, making it the ninth largest city in Texas, and the seventieth most populous city in the United States. According to a 2005 census estimate, Plano had grown to 250,096. Plano is within the Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington metropolitan area, colloquially referred to as the Metroplex. The city is home to many corporate headquarters, including Perot Systems, Electronic Data Systems, Frito-Lay, Cinemark Theatres, UGS, and JCPenney. In 2005, Plano was 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. In addition to its many industries and good-quality living, Plano has excellent schools that consistently score in the top few percent of the nation.
- 1 History
- 2 Notable residents
- 3 Geography
- 4 Outdoor Amenities
- 5 Transportation
- 6 Business
- 7 Education
- 7.1 Plano students, suicides, and heroin
- 8 Demographics
- 9 Population Growth
- 10 Sister Cities
- 11 See also
- 12 External links
In the early 1840s, several settlers came to the area around Plano. Several nearby facilities including a sawmill, gristmill and a store 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), the locals suggested the name Plano, which they mistook for the Spanish word for "flat," a reference to the terrain of the area. The name was accepted by the Post Office and Plano was born.
In 1872, the completion of the Houston and Texas Railroad helped the city to grow, increasing the population to more than 500 by 1874. In 1873, the city officially incorporated.
In 1881, a fire raged through the central business district, destroying most of the buildings: 51 in all. However, the town was rebuilt and business again flourished through the 1880s. In 1895 the PISD (Plano Independent School District) was formed. This is one of the best school districts in the entire country.
Unlike many of the other Dallas suburbs, which were closer to Dallas itself, the population of Plano initially grew slowly, reaching 1,304 in 1900 and increasing to 3,695 in 1960. By 1970, however, Plano began to feel some of the boom its neighbors 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 to increase the overall population of Plano. In 1970, the population reached 17,872 and by 1980, the population had exploded to 72,000 people. Almost unbelievably the sewers, schools and street development kept easy pace with this massive increase largely due to Plano's flat topography, grid layout and excellent planning.
During the 1980s, many large corporations moved their headquarters to Plano, including JC Penney and Frito-Lay, which helped to further grow the city as more people desired to move closer to where they worked. By 1990, the population had reached 128,713 and now dwarfed the county seat of McKinney. In 1994, the city was recognized as an All-America City.
By 2000, the population nearly doubled again to 222,030, making it one of the largest suburbs in the Dallas area. However, the area's suburban sprawl has pushed beyond Plano and the city's population is stabilizing. Plano is completely locked in by other municipalities and cannot expand in area, and there is little undeveloped land remaining within the city limits. By 2005, its population was estimated to be 250,096.
The following is a list of past and current residents of Plano, who have obtained notoriety outside of the community:
- Troy Aikman, former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and recent Pro Football Hall of Fame honoree
- Anousheh Ansari, businesswoman and the first female space tourist.
- Lance Armstrong, seven-time Tour de France winner
- L. Sprague de Camp, prolific science fiction author
- Steve Harvey, comedian and radio show host
- Kristin Holt, host of the G4's Cheat!, and a former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader.
- Stephen Katz, television and film writer, wrote The Contract
- Glen Kimberlin, bassist, Nashville Session musician
- Lar Park Lincoln, starred in Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood, also starred in many other TV shows, she still lives in Plano.
- Nastia Liukin, gymnast
- Scott Mechlowicz, Actor, star of Eurotrip
- H. Ross Perot, businessman and two-time presidential candidate
- Keech Rainwater member of the band Lonestar
- Greg Ray, former auto racing driver in the Indy Racing League
- Deion Sanders, former Dallas Cowboys cornerback, current NFL sports commentator
- Alan Tudyk, stage and film actor on such works as Serenity, Dodgeball and A Knight's Tale
- Jennifer Vasquez, contestant on the hit reality show Big Brother 6 on CBS, and a former Dallas Desperados Dancer.
- Anne Wingate, mystery author and former Plano police detective
- Skye Leung, founder of Fusion Bar Forums
- Kevin McHale, member of Geffen signed boy band NLT.
- Hollie Vise, 2003 World Champion Gymnast.
- Drew Pearson, former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver.
- Zachary Mabry, born in Plano. Appeared in the movie Little Rascals as Porky
- G. Clifton Wisler, historical fiction author
- Doyle Davidson, pastor of Water of Life Ministries
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 185.5 km² (71.6 mi²). 185.4 km² (71.6 mi²) of it is land and 0.2 km² (0.1 mi²) of it (0.08%) is water.GR1
Plano's parks feature many playgrounds, several bicycling trails, and a nature preserve. The bike trails take advantage of several contiguous parks to extend their range. One runs northwest-southeast, beginning at Legacy Drive east of Independence in Chisolm Trail Park and running to Alma Drive south of Parker at the terminus of the park. The trail diverges near Spring Creek Pkwy & Custer Rd leading to another outlet on Alma, this time north of Spring Creek terminating at High Point Park. Another trail originates in Carpenter Park which is north of Spring Creek on Coit Rd running both east-west and north-south. The north-south path terminates at Parker Rd just west of Coit in Preston Meadow Park, while the east-west path terminates at Bronze Leaf Dr in Lone Star Park.
Bob Woodruff Park, which has its north-west corner at Spring Creek Pkwy & Parker Rd and extends south of Park & east to Los Rios Blvd, features one of the largest playgrounds in Plano.
The Arbor Hills Nature Preserve is located west of the Dallas North Tollway on Parker Rd. It features a shared pedestrian and bicycling trail which highlights the assets of the preserve, and the woods within the preserve are traversed by several unpaved trails.
Plano is one of many cities 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.
Plano was the first of many cities in Collin County to adopt a master plan for their road system. The use of wide, multi-lane, divided highways for all major roads allows for higher speed limits on those thoroughfares, generally 40 or 45 mph but sometimes up to 55 mph on the northern section of Preston Road, and due to this, concerns for pedestrian safety have arisen.
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 SH 121 (which is currently under construction to be made into a toll road). Preston Road or Texas State Highway 289 is also a major thoroughfare that runs through the city.
Plano is the corporate headquarters for some of the country's largest and most-recognized companies. Tree-lined Legacy Drive in the 75024 zip code, between Preston Road and the Dallas North Tollway, is full of corporate campuses. The following companies headquarter in Plano:
- Adams Golf
- Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages (formerly Dr Pepper/Seven Up, Inc.)
- Cinemark Theatres
- Electronic Data Systems
- Frito Lay
- Highland Homes
- Metromedia Restaurant Group (Bennigan's, Steak & Ale)
- Perot Systems
- Prodea Systems
- Rug Doctor
- Triad Hospitals
Plano also has a large number of semiconductor and telecommunications companies in its Research and Technology District (RT) due in part to its proximity to the Telecom Corridor. The list includes:
- Texas Instruments
- Infosys Technologies
- Metasolv Software (being acquired by Oracle Corporation)
Plano is also a frequent destination for business travelers; 80% of out-of-area visitors visit for this purpose. This is due to the city's close proximity to Dallas, and due to the many corporations headquartered in Plano. The city also has a large convention center. Plano is locally famous for its annual hot air balloon festival.
Recently, Plano has made a concerted effort to draw retail to the area in an effort to boost sales tax returns. The newly constructed Shops at Legacy features apartments and an Angelika Film Center, while The Shops at Willow Bend is the city's new, upscale mall.
Wal-Mart also considered the city's affluence when it decided to establish the experimental luxury Wal-Mart Supercenter on Park Road and the Dallas North Tollway.
Plano Independent School District serves most of Plano. Due to a massive increase in student enrollment over the past few decades, Plano consists of a unique "high school" system, in which grades 9-10 attend a high school and grades 11-12 attend a senior high.
There are three senior high schools (grades 11-12) in PISD; Plano East, Plano Senior, and Plano West.
Small portions of Plano are served by the Lewisville Independent School District, Frisco Independent School District, and Allen Independent School District.
Plano is the home to two campuses of the Collin County Community College District, one at the Courtyard Center on Preston Park Boulevard and the larger Spring Creek Campus on Spring Creek Parkway at Jupiter.
In 2006, Plano Independent School District announced that 115 seniors were selected as National Merit Semifinalists, the largest in the district's history.
SMU in Legacy, of Southern Methodist University, is a graduate university serving the needs of 3,000 working professionals. Its academic programs include business, engineering and computer training, education and continuing education. It also features The Guildhall  that offers a Masters program in video game development.
Plano students, suicides, and heroin
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 caused by carbon monoxide poisoning, however, a few of the suicides were caused by gunshot wounds. Plano students were again in the news in the late 1990s, the result of a city-wide heroin problem. The surge in heroin use culminated in coverage by several major news outlets such as NBC's Dateline and MTV's "Faces of Death." Heroin use in Plano eventually led to over a dozen overdose deaths of teenagers and young adults. Many more Plano heroin users suffered from overdoses that did not result in death. Based on the heroin epidemic among Plano youth, 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. 
In July 2003, Taylor Hooton, a student athlete at Plano West Senior High School, committed suicide which his family believed 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, 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 was a widely covered event as several prominent baseball players including José Canseco and Mark McGwire testified as well.
As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 222,030 people, 80,875 households, and 60,575 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,197.8/km² (3,102.4/mi²). There were 86,078 housing units at an average density of 464.4/km² (1,202.8/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 78.26% White, 5.02% African American, 0.36% Native American, 10.18% 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 10.07% of the population.
There were 80,875 households out of which 42.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.3% were married couples living together, 7.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.1% were non-families. 20.2% of all households were made up of 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.
In the city the population was spread out with 28.7% under the age of 18, 7.0% from 18 to 24, 36.5% from 25 to 44, 22.9% from 45 to 64, and 4.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 99.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.2 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $78,722, and the median income for a family was $91,162. Males had a median income of $64,668 versus $39,617 for females. The per capita income for the city was $36,514. About 3.0% of families and 4.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.6% of those under age 18 and 7.8% of those age 65 or over. Average rents in Plano in 2005 were $662 for a one bedroom apartment, and $878 for a two bedroom apartment.
Plano was the highest income place with a population of 130,000 or more in 2000.
Plano was ranked the most affluent city in the United States with the lowest poverty rate of 6.3% for a city with a population exceeding 250,000. Its neighbor, Frisco, was ranked the richest city for the population of under 250,000 in the United States with a 2.7% poverty rate. Plano also has the highest median income in the nation at $71,000. 
Plano is also located in Collin County, the wealthiest county in Texas and part of the most wealthy 1% of counties in the United States. The four wealthy zip codes of Plano that contribute to the county's affluence are (in descending order of median household income/year): 75093, 75024, 75025, and 75094.
- 1874: 500
- 1890: 1,200
- 1900: 1,304
- 1910: 1,200
- 1960: 3,695
- 1970: 17,872
- 1980: 72,331
- 1990: 128,713
- 1994: 166,952
- 1995: 178,949
- 1996: 192,622
- 1997: 207,781
- 1998: 219,486
- 2000: 222,030
- 2003: 241,991
- 2004: 245,411
- 2005: 250,096
- 2006: 252,600
- 2007: 255,700
Plano has five sister cities designated by Sister Cities International. This program's presence is seen in Plano ISD schools, where representatives from sister cities often meet and tour.
- Brampton, Canada
- Ivanovo, Russia
- San Pedro Garza Garcia, Mexico
- Port Adelaide Enfield, South Australia
- Hsinchu, Taiwan