It’s quiet in the communities around Lake Lavon. Here many people live on acreage. Some have called it home for decades. Others are newcomers, buying old lots to build dream homes.
But as the North Central Texas Council of Governments looks at new options for roads in bustling Collin County, lake residents new and old have been united in an effort to stop a freeway near their homes.
It all started with a presentation from the COG showing options for routes to move people north to south on the county’s eastern side.
Growth trends show an estimated build-out of anywhere from 2.5 to 3.4 million people in the county over the next decade. And officials say, that means growth will move from the west, where crowded cities like Plano no longer have room for new homes, to the east where land is ready for development.
“The citizens don’t live there yet. The highways don’t exist yet. I understand that it’s hard to look into the future. It really is. But we’ve got to do that for the people who will live in Collin County in the future,” said Collin County Judge Keith Self.
But it’s the people who live in the county now who say they’re privacy and tranquility will soon be threatened.
A petition to stop a Lake Corridor, one of many options being considered by the COG, has garnered nearly 1,000 signatures. Among them are Erin Larew and her husband.
“We moved here so we could have six acres here in Wylie, and so we could have this. We didn’t move here so we could have a road next to us. And that’s the same for everybody on this road,” said Erin Larew.
The couple purchased property along Troy Road two and a half years ago. They’ve been planning and saving to build their dream home. It’s where they planned to raise 4-year-old Adeline and 1-year-old Wesley, and live out the rest of their days.
“It’s either going to be on top of my property or it’s going to be close enough that it’s going to bring down the value of my house. There would be crime, noise pollution, not to mention the air pollution. I don’t want to live near that. I don’t want to build this house that I’ve been working on for two and a half years somewhere where it’s going to be near a road,” said Larew.
Both city and county leaders have tried to calm fears, insisting time and time again that nothing’s been proposed.
“The Lake Corridor as far as a line on the map is only one line on a map. It could be on the corridor. It could be to the east of Lake Lavon. We simply don’t know. We need to put this project into the Metropolitan Transportation Plan 2045, MTP 2045, to even start studying what is the best route,” said Judge Self.
According to Self, any new road would be at least seven to 10 years away. It would also take the approval of several different parties.
Instead of new roads, officials could also choose to expand Highway 78, which is currently the only major thoroughfare connecting the county north to south on the eastern side.
Wylie City Council will hold a work session with COG on November, 9th to discuss the options and the public’s concerns. The meeting is open to the public.