Little Elm, Texas
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Little Elm, Texas
"Town With A Lake Attitude"
Location of Little Elm in Denton County, Texas
|• Town Council||Mayor David Hillock |
|• Town Manager||Matt Mueller|
|• Total||22.09 sq mi (57.22 km2)|
|• Land||17.99 sq mi (46.60 km2)|
|• Water||4.10 sq mi (10.62 km2)|
|Elevation||545 ft (166 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||2,952.92/sq mi (1,140.12/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (Central (CST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
|Area code(s)||214, 469, 972|
|GNIS feature ID||1340088|
Little Elm is a city in Denton County, Texas, United States, and a part of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. It is an extended suburb of Dallas. The population was 3,646 at the 2000 census. By the 2010 census, the city total had jumped to 25,898, making Little Elm one of the fastest growing municipalities in Texas since 2000 in terms of percentage. As of 2019 the current estimated population of Little Elm is 53,126.
Little Elm is generally located along the northern and eastern shores of Lewisville Lake at the cross roads of Eldorado Parkway and FM 423 and includes stretches of U.S. Highway 380. Its neighbors include Frisco to the east, The Colony and Hackberry to the south, Prosper, Aubrey, and Providence to the north, and Oak Point, Cross Roads, and Lakewood Village to the west.
Little Elm is located at  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, it has a total area of 18.6 square miles (48.3 km2), of which 14.6 square miles (37.7 km2) is land and 4.1 square miles (10.5 km2), or 21.83%, is water. Little Elm has an average elevation of 545 feet above sea level.(33.163955, -96.930281).
Little Elm has more miles of shoreline (66 miles) than any city in DFW. Lakeside amenities off Eldorado Parkway include a cable wake board park, a boat ramp, a massive swim beach, a marina, an amphitheater on the water, and many miles of trail. Other park attractions include the disc golf course at McCord Park on FM 423.
Because Little Elm is rapidly growing and expanding, most of the city is new. These new constructions not only include new parks, government buildings, and businesses, but also include a diverse housing mix of estate residential custom homes, traditional single-family housing, townhouses, duplexes, multi-family, and manufactured homes. Some of the newer subdivisions include Paloma Creek, The Towers by the Park, and Frisco Ranch.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
Little Elm's current estimated population, as of July 1, 2019, is 53,126. Little Elm's build-out population is anticipated to be over 90,000.
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,646 people, 1,210 households, and 965 families residing in the town. The population of Little Elm grew by 610% between 2000 and 2010, ballooning from 3,646 to 25,898, making the city one of the fastest growing in not only the state of Texas but also the United States.
According to the census, 63.2% of the population was white, 17.5% was Black or African American, and 6.1% was Asian. Of the total population, 22.7% identified as Hispanic or Latino (of any race).
Per the 2019 Census estimates, the median household income in Little Elm is $95,377. The per capita income is $34,533 and just 6.3% of residents live in poverty. Many local organizations such as LovePacs and the Little Elm Food Bank aim to serve these extremely-low-income residents.
Three (3) school districts serve Little Elm: Little Elm ISD, Frisco ISD, and Denton ISD. Generally, the U.S. 380 corridor is served by Denton ISD, the FM 423 corridor and east Little Elm by Frisco ISD, and the rest of Little Elm by Little Elm ISD. in 2020, Little Elm High School was reclassified to a 6A athletic program.
The Little Elm Independent School District serves most of the original parts of Little Elm. Little Elm ISD is one of the fastest growing in Denton County. The school district finished building its athletic stadium in 2006 located at the intersection of Hart Road and Eldorado Parkway. The stadium has a seating capacity of 7,500 with great wheelchair accessibility, a newly renovated video board at the north endzone, and a three level state-of-the-art press box. Although the intent is to keep the community a one-high-school town, two new middle schools will open for the 2020-2021 school year.
A portion of the city is within the Frisco Independent School District.
During the summer of 2016, Denton ISD completed construction on its 4th comprehensive high school, Braswell High School, located at the southeast corner of Navo Road and U.S. 380, to serve the fast-growing University Drive corridor which is part of Little Elm.
While Little Elm is often referred to as a "bedroom community," there are five companies/entities in the city that employ over 100 people, per the Little Elm EDC  - Little Elm ISD (853), The Town of Little Elm (311), Kroger (191), Lowe's Home Center (178), and Retractable Technologies (146). The 2019 Retail Trade population was 203,560. The unemployment rate in Little Elm, pre-Covid-19, was 3.7%. Little Elm residents work in a variety of sectors , including retail trade (13.9%), finance/insurance (11.6%), professional/scientific/technical services (10.8%), construction (8.6%), and educational services (8.5%).
Awards and honors
The Arbor Day Foundation designated Little Elm a Tree City USA community for its commitment to urban forestry for 3 straight years (2011-2013).
The American Planning Association, Texas Chapter, with an all-time record number of applicants, honored the Town of Little Elm with the Current Planning Award for its 2009 Commercial Design Standards Report.
The Texas Chapter of the American Planning Association honored Little Elm with a Certificate of Achievement for Planning Excellence award during the following years: 2007, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014.
In 2013, the Cross Timbers Urban Forestry Council presented Little Elm with a Bronze Leaf Award for its commitment to urban forestry initiatives.
The Dallas Business Journal selected McCord Farm as a finalist for its 2012 Suburban Multi-Family Deal of the Year award. McCord Farm includes three phases of luxury multi-family developments along the FM 423 corridor and McCord Park, a wooded 38 acre public park along Cottonwood Creek donated to the Town of Little Elm and constructed by the developer.
The Texas Chapter of the American Planning Association named Chairman Michael McClellan the 2012 Planning Commissioner of the Year. This prestigious and competitive honor is awarded to only one (1) commissioner in the State each year by the Texas Chapter.
In 2010, Little Elm's Planning Department won the Texas Emerging Communities scholarship in recognition of its colossal 610% growth rate, modernized development standards, aggressive tree preservation regulations, and Town Center project.
In 2013, Little Elm was named the safest city in Texas by the FBI and the 18th safest in the nation for cities with a population of 25,000 or higher. In 2016, Little Elm was ranked the 13th safest by the FBI in the state of Texas for towns with a population of 10,000 or higher.
Little Elm has an extensive and comprehensive parks system with 5 major community parks, including Little Elm Park, Cottonwood Park, Beard Park, McCord Park, and Union Park. Little Elm has many miles of hike and bike trails constructed and planned along the lake and its tributaries.
Little Elm Park, located in the Lakefront district along Eldorado Parkway, offers a popular swim beach, boat ramp, an amphitheater on the lake, volleyball courts, soccer and softball fields, miles of trail, and hosts many special events such as the annual July Jubilee, Fall Festival, Summer Rhythms, Pumpkin Hollow, seasonal 5k and triathlon competitions, and many other live band events.
Cottonwood Park, also located in the Lakefront district at the southern terminus of Lobo Lane, is home to Cottonwood Creek Marina, softball fields, miles of trail, and is planned for future development. Union Park, currently under construction north of U.S. 380 by Hillwood Communities, is expected to be open soon.
Beard Park, located at the intersection of Main Street and Eldorado Parkway, is home to the Hydrous wake board park, the Taphouse beer garden, Hula Hut, future trails, future historic village, and is the future home of Little Elm's Farmers Market, which is currently set up in the Hobby Lobby shopping center.
McCord Park, located along FM 423, is a wooded 38 acre park containing gentle slopes, a creek, heavy tree cover, a fishing pond, and acres of open space. Amenities in the public park include over a mile of hike & bike trail, an 18-hole disc golf course, fishing dock, pedestrian bridges, picnic areas, and a playground. The disc golf course was designed by John Houck, a world-renowned disc golf course designer. The park will also be home to the Town's 6th LED digital marquee monument sign, which will be the first on FM 423.
Through creative planning and zoning, McCord Park was donated to the Town and constructed by the developers (Western Rim) of the luxury multi-family projects adjacent to it. The total value of the land and park improvements is estimated to be over 5 million dollars, all of which was paid for by the developer. Vital to the Town's master Hike & Bike trail plan, McCord Park provides an invaluable link from FM 423 to Veteran's Memorial Bridge on Witt Road and eventually westward along Lewisville Lake to the Lakefront district. It also offers a critical connection point into Frisco's trail system, which is part of a regional master trail system, one day ensuring that Little Elm residents could continually recreate to Dallas via trail without interruption.
Although the Dallas Business Journal already selected McCord Farm (including the apartments and McCord Park) as a finalist for its 2012 Suburban Multi-Family Deal of the Year award, the park has more planned.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Little Elm has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps. In July/August, daily highs average around 95 degrees, with nightly lows around 72 degrees. In December/January, daily highs average around 55 degrees, with nightly lows around 32 degrees.
Little Elm has great access to the rest of the DFW Metroplex via several regionally significant thoroughfares. The Dallas North Tollway is a 5-minute drive east of Little Elm, which opens up the greater north Dallas region to residents, including several large employment and shopping hubs. DFW Airport is about 30 minutes away by car, and Love Field is about 35 minutes by car.
Eldorado Parkway, which functions as Little Elm's main street, provides a critical connection to the region by linking U.S. 75 and I-35E, including the Lewisville Lake Toll Bridge. Portions of Eldorado Parkway are 6-lanes with a divided median.
FM 423 functionally serves as Little Elm's eastern boundary, although Little Elm crosses east of FM 423 in several places. This 6-lane thoroughfare connects SH 121 in The Colony to the U.S. 380 corridor. The U.S. 380 corridor is in the northern part of Little Elm and provides an invaluable regional connection between two of the four county seats of the Metroplex (McKinney and Denton). TXDOT has no formal plans to expand U.S. 380 in Denton County; however, sufficient right-of-way exists to provide 8-lanes with a divided median if TXDOT prioritizes the project.
The Lewisville Lake Toll Bridge is a North Texas Tollway Authority project and was opened to the public on August 1, 2009. The North Texas Tollway Authority completed the Dallas North Tollway Extension Phase III in September 2007.
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