From Staff Reports
Of the close to 200 cities and towns in the 16 counties served by the North Central Texas Council of Governments over a wide swath of North Texas, Prosper is number one in terms of percentage of growth during 2012, according to Town Manager Harlan Jefferson.
"Our Town’s increase was 9.8 percent for the period January 1, 2012 to January 1, 2013. Trophy Club and Melissa also attained a 9.8 percent increase. However, Prosper is the only municipality in the top 10 with more than 10,000 in population. The rate of increase for smaller towns and cities is naturally higher since they have smaller numbers to begin with, but to appear at the top, while still having more than 10,000 population is significant," he said.
The NCTCOG pegs Prosper’s 2013 population at 13,380, an increase of 1,190 from January 1, 2012. Trophy Club’s 2013 population is 9,400 and Melissa stands at 5,710.
Director of Development Services Chris Copple has been tracking the growth and says the 2013 numbers are the
proverbial tip of the iceberg. The staff is dealing with an unusually high number of preliminary and final plats which
have won approval recently. Established subdivisions are quickly moving toward completing their multiple phases,
indicating that the development community is working hard to meet the demand for housing. The number of building
permits issued to date is already ahead of last year’s pace, which itself set a new record for Prosper. Copple was recently promoted to his current position after heading up the Planning Department.
"The growth has been steady for us in Prosper, moving gradually but persistently upward. Our forecasts, though, tell a story of an impending uptick in population, housing, developments and construction that will result in even more significant growth. A look at the areas near U.S. 380 and Preston Road and the areas bisected by the Dallas North Tollway reveal signs indicative of the coming upsurge in commercial and residential activity," said Copple.
The Town Manager, though only months on the job, sees the same kind of high-impact growth that he’s experienced in previous municipalities.
"The Council, the staff and the community were extremely prudent in preparing for the growth we’re now seeing. A concerted effort has been made to get the infrastructure in place. Water lines and water storage facilities, sewer lines, street improvements, zoning regulations, comprehensive planning and active community input have all been high priorities in Prosper, and the results are now evident. I’ve seen this kind of explosive growth and I know what it takes to be successful, and I’m very confident that we’re moving in the right direction," said Jefferson.
Prior to arriving in Prosper, Jefferson served as Town Manager in Flower Mound, during which he shepherded the community through some of its largest increases in population and commercial activity. His extensive experience in helping guide communities through high-growth periods is coupled with an equally notable track record in economic development. Jefferson, his staff and the Executive Director of the Prosper Economic Development Corporation, Robert Winningham, collaborate on designing incentive packages for commercial developments.
The Town is also counting on a wide array of related activity that will have an impact on its growth.
For example, the reconstruction of Preston Road through Prosper has been one key to the Town’s fast track.
Preston Road is the Town’s major entry point and is in the midst of a reconstruction and widening that will transform it from a two-lane blacktop to a divided, six-lane, concrete thoroughfare. Along with that state-financed project, several other major north-south and east-west arteries in Prosper are being similarly widened, the result of a citizen-approved Capital Improvement bond program.
"What we’re seeing today is a foreshadowing of what we will witness over the next five to ten years, a remarkable expansion of not only residential developments, but an unprecedented increase in commercial and retail activity. All the while, we are still focused on quality of life issues like parks, culture and the arts, education through our partnership with the school district, and the intangibles that make Prosper a place where everyone matters," he added.
Prosper’s Comprehensive Plan calls for a projected build-out population of some 70,000 residents in the 27-square mile community.