ALLEN (CBS 11 NEWS) - Residents are fuming over Allen ISD’s decision to house more than 100 school buses in a new service center at Watters Road and Bossy Boots Drive, saying the move will reduce property values by up to 10 percent and introduce health risks into the area.
Critics of the plan told the school board Monday night that nearly 1,300 homes will be negatively impacted. They say when they moved into the Waterford Parks subdivision – where $350,000 homes are not uncommon – they never expected to have Allen ISD’s “bus barn” as a neighbor.
“My biggest concern is the pollution,” said resident and critic Sudeep Gupta. “This is not what we were signing up for when we moved to Allen.”
Allen is one of the fastest growing cities in the region. School buses have multiplied to 120, overwhelming the district’s current bus center at 2 Butler Circle. Groundbreaking for the new service center on the northwest corner of Watters Road and Bossy Boots Drive is scheduled to start in 2013.
“I’m very concerned about the sound of the rumbling diesel engines and the smelling of the fumes,” one resident said.
“If we take a bus barn and drop it in one of the higher property value areas of our city, we’re reducing our tax base,” another said during the standing room only meeting.
Gupta said he moved to Allen for the city’s high quality of life. He told the board he wonders what lies ahead for residents now.
“It’s going to increase traffic and reduce the quality of the experience here and it’s going to destroy $47 million in property values,” he said.
Allen ISD officials said they did their homework, and it would not be easy to find another location.
“It’s not something as smple as a ‘we just put it there, why don’t you move it here’ type of thing,” Allen ISD spokesman Tim Carroll said. “Land is very difficult to obtain in the city of Allen right now because there’s a very limited amount of it.”
Allen ISD has already bought the land where they plan to house the buses. The service center will also serve as maintenance and food service operations for the district.
The board took no action Monday night because it’s already a done deal. They only let residents speak their mind.