Saving Plum Lane: Homeowners fight for independence against Frisco annexation

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RURAL McKINNEY, TX — A small North Texas community is fighting for its independence.

A hidden little street called Plum Lane is home to Russwood Acres, a 27-home neighborhood nestled between McKinney and Frisco – and not a part of either city.

“I love living here,” said Peggy Shehane, who’s lived on Plum for 39 years. “I love all the neighbors, and I love my two and a half acres where I can spend the day.”

“I’ve had people who have come here to deliver pizzas that never knew we were here,” said Keith Parsley, a newer resident on the block who moved in about six years ago. “But the relationship that we have with our neighbors is amazing.”

“If someone of our neighbors is in need, you don’t really have to ask,” said Leon Zellars, who’s lived here 40 years. “Can’t say it any better than to say ‘family.'”

And that family has taken on all the maintenance responsibilities for the neighborhood, since they don’t have city help – and that’s just the way they like it.

“Each of us owns to the center of the road,” said Parsley, “So we in fact are responsible for the road ourselves.  If you’d been out here a summer or two ago, you would have seen some of the people that are here today out putting out road patch.  I mean, literally all working together to make that happen.  So, it’s a very self-sufficient group of people to start with.”

So, when Frisco proposed annexing Russwood Acres to put them within city limits, the neighborhood spoke up.  Nearly every homeowner in the neighborhood either spoke at the city council meeting, or went on record saying they were opposed to the involuntary annexation.

The city says making Plum Lane part of Frisco would give them access to city services, but the homeowners we talked to said “no thanks!”

“We have police service right now through the Collin County Sheriff’s Office,” Parsley told NewsFix. “The fire service is already covered through the fire district arrangements, and we pay for our own private trash service.  So those are our critical services and they’ve been covered for years now.

“And because we’re not within the city limits, people are free to pursue the hobbies that they’re interested in.  There’s a lady down the street that has horses, for instance.  Probably not something that, within the city limits, they would smile upon.”

Most importantly though, the city property taxes would add about $100 a month…  Which would be a huge burden to some of the residents, many of whom are retired.

“A lot of the folks in our neighborhood would have to leave,” said Zellars.

“I’m retired, and I have a very low income,” Shehane said. “I would definitely have to move.  It would just be a real tragedy to me.”

Yeah, these folks say Frisco’s a nice place to visit, but they don’t want to live there… Much less a retirement home.

They’ll continue to plead their case at the next city council meeting on February 20th.

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