The Stauffer's can finally start building on their land of more than 30 years. Their property sat in limbo in McKinney's extra-territorial jurisdiction. Work had stopped on their dream home and materials just sat for more than a year. That is until Tuesday.
While McKinney and Collin County still have to work out what to do in the ETJ, the Stauffer's found relief. The council with a 4-2 vote agreed to amend the code, which relaxed permitting rules and would allow people to build again.
"They have the right to build. They have the right to build their homes in the case of the Stauffers and that's a right that we need to preserve," said McKinney Mayor George Fuller, who openly spoke on the topic for the first time.
"I feel the Stauffers have been vindicated, but it's been going on so long. We now begin the work of cleaning up the mess," said Alan Hoffmann, the builder.
The change to the code only applies to single family structures and not for property owners who have interest in sub-dividing the land. It is unclear how many people this code-change affects. Mayor Fuller tells WFAA he has to balance a landowner's right with the city's standards.
"We wanna make sure what's built out there is built safely, number one," he said.
The city and county are still at odds. Two cases involving property owners are still pending. The mayor is hopeful both the city and county can again meet at the table and iron out these differences. Fuller says big questions need to be addressed, whether the county have the resources to do inspections.
"Certainly, one could make the argument that the relationship is contentious at best," Fuller said.
Waiting a year has had an impact on the Stauffers and the thousands of dollars worth of work already completed on the land.
"The majority of what is there right now cannot be reused," said Hoffmann.
It is back to square one, but at least now there is hope to build the dream home they've always wanted.