Century-Old Collin County Farm Fighting Over Eminent Domain

There is a battle brewing over eminent domain in northern Collin County that shows no signs of slowing down.

The Luscombe family has owned nearly 300 acres of farmland off of Foster Crossing Road in Anna for more than a century.

Jim Luscombe said the family has titles on the property dating back to the Spanish land grant, back before Texas was even a state.

"This land means everything to my family," Luscombe said. Luscombe's aunt, cousins, children and grandchildren all own separate homes and businesses on the land.

The concern now is a possible change to their serene landscape.

The city of Anna wants to install a water line that would run through the Luscombe's land. To do so, the city must secure easements.

But the family is concerned that the water line will lead to future development.

"Next to a water line comes a road," Luscombe said.

The worry, Luscombe said, is that their two-lane country road of Foster Crossing will be widened, bringing traffic and development that would disrupt their quiet, country feel.

"Our job is to continue to hold that legacy and hold that land for the next generation and the next generation," Luscombe said.

He said the family would agree to the water line easements if it came with a written agreement from the city promising not to widen the road for at least 25 years.

Anna City Manager Philip Sanders said the current project is only to place the water line and there is no road widening project planned.

If the easements are secured, Sanders said construction would begin in the summer.

"The location was selected to minimize impact," Sanders said, explaining that the water line will connect two lines and the neighborhood of Pecan Grove. It is needed to keep up with the city's growth.

Sanders added that none of the pecan trees in the area will be cut down and once the line is installed, the property will be restored as it was.

The Luscombe family is inviting the public to an open house on Sunday, March 19, from 2 to 4 p.m. to show people why their land should be preserved. The farm is on 1303 West Foster Crossing.

They even created a YouTube video about the issue. 

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