Allen Neighborhoods Fighting ISD Over School Buses

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.

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  • Rick Hollmer


    Just a note here on your report on the Allen ISD bus barn…

    Your comment “This is already a done deal” is far from the truth and very hurtful to the thousands of people in the area that are fighting to get the Allen ISD to move the service center to a more appropriate location. This has already been moved once from one neighborhood. Why would you think that this is a done deal? This goes against multiple EPA guidelines which state that you cannot have a complex such as this within 3 miles of an elementary school. They are placing this within 1 mile of 3 elementary schools. That’s not to mention that this area was never zoned for industrial use. This area was IT-Industrial. Much different uses are allowed in IT-Industrial than Industrial. IT-Industrial does not allow for the storage of fuel, truck washing, truck service, etc.

    While we appreciate you covering the story, it would be nice if you were to offer a little encouragement instead of a defeatist attitude. Or at very least, try to remain impartial.

    • MP

      Completely agree. We didn’t ask for an editorial, but a fair and balanced news story. I think an apology is in order.

  • Jim

    One of the downsides of buying spanking new $350K homes in an undeveloped, sleeper town is just this. The city will grow and with it it’s need to cater to it’s residents.

    What no one is considering is imminent domain. Imminent domain can come up from under the stairs and bite you in the rear.

    • Rick Hollmer


      Thanks for the reply. But I wouldn’t say that we just stumbled into this community by accident and threw money at a builder blindly. In fact, the area was already fairly well established and we researched the surrounding zoning and future use of Allen trail system via the parks and recreation department. The real problem here is that the Allen ISD is able to discretely purchase a parcel of land and re-zone the entire area as they see fit. Regardless of environmental and economic impact. No resident had any way of knowing that this was able to happen unless they happen to work in a city gornement position. Even then, you would likely have to be an elected official to know about this.

      If we were to subscribe to the theory that you only purchase pre-existing homes in established neighborhoods, how would a city like Allen flourish and put thousands of people to work building and selling homes, starting businesses and raising families?

      We simply want the Allen ISD to play by the same rules that anyone else would have to play by should they embark on a purchase of 130,000 square feet of land just yards from where our children live and play. Not to bring in an industrial to heavy industrial bus service center. In fact, according to Planning and Zoning, they have no say over what the Allen ISD plans to do with the site at all.

      We’ll see what the EPA thnks about their plans. If that doesn’t work litigation is next on the list. And I’ll certainly be the first to donate to the cause.

  • Vin

    At least Steve Stoller at Channel 8 can deliver an unbiased news story.

  • Allen

    Nice report. Centered and balanced.

    Anyone who purchases property next to a vacant piece of property should know the original use can be changed.

    Crying about zoning is a waste of time. School districts in Texas can do what they desire with regard to zoning. Asking them to rethink the need is also a waste. Multiple citizen committees have recognized the need for a bus barn. The voters approved a new bus barn.

    • Vin

      Allen – Carol said to ask you to stop and get milk tonight on the way home.

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