PLANO –– A Plano neighborhood being built on the former site of a century-old farm is slowly taking shape. After more than one year of preparing the property for construction, the dirt is about to fly on scores of new houses.
For nearby homeowners, the sight of walls where livestock once stood is evoking a wide range of emotions.
Mary Baze used to see a tall row of trees along Baffin Bay Drive as she would walk out of her front door. But today, Baze sees a 10 foot high brick wall installed by the developer about two weeks ago.
Baze is not happy.
"It's a poor exchange for what was there, and I think everyone on this street would say that. What a shame," she said.
Crops, cattle and llamas have been replaced by streets and lots ready for development. WestPark, as it is now called, is lined with a stone wall along Customer Road. On Baffin Bay, the wall alternates between brick and wrought iron.
Homeowner Kent Harrington says by erecting the walls, the builder –– Pennsylvania-based Toll Brothers –– is following an agreement with the residents.
"Of course, we would like to have the farm there as well," said Harrington. "But you know, the only thing that's constant in this world is change. And this is change."
Baze doesn't see it that way.
"Many people comment on it that they're closing us out and we're like the poor relatives because these are going to be more expensive homes than ours," she said.
Rob Paul, the president of Toll Brothers for the Dallas area, said the company met with homeowners and city leaders several times and reached an agreement on the walls. Paul said a landscaping buffer and sidewalk will soften the look.
The new houses, which will start in the $300,000 range, will begin going up in the next two or three months.