FRISCO (CBS 11 NEWS) – The battle between a homeowner’s association and a residence for homeless youth appears to be coming to an end. The Frisco group that houses troubled teens says it will move out of a neighborhood after some homeowners made them feel less than welcome.
You might not think of homelessness in a comfortable suburb like Frisco, but the people at the non-profit City House insist it’s a problem they were successfully addressing when they bought a home in the Plantation Resort subdivision. However, in the end, staying wasn’t worth the fight.
The first two teens to live in the house on Charleston Dive were thriving. City House has been working to provide housing for homeless youth for years in Plano, and this was its first house in Frisco.
“I think City House is a good organization, and they did good work for teenagers in Frisco, so it’s a little heartbreaking that this has happened, Anita Birdsong said.
Birdsong insisted the teens next door to her were good neighbors, but when her homeowners association argued that multi-family households violated HOA rules, she says she was sympathetic with the argument.
“Our neighborhoods aren’t meant for multi-family or even different people that aren’t really related,” Birdsong said.
The HOA took City House to court.
“Quite frankly there’s a few loud voices that simply don’t want us there,” City House’s Rob Scichili said.
The non-profit argued the teens living in the home are just as much a family as the rest of the neighborhood, but the court battle had become too much of a distraction.
“They weren’t going to give up. They were going to continue to fight. We’re not looking for a fight,” Scichili said.
The cost of the legal battle was becoming a challenge for all involved. Birdsong showed us a letter from the HOA explaining that fees would be going up in part because of the City House lawsuit. That’s why some say it’s for the best that the nonprofit relocate somewhere else.
“It could be a never-ending cost on us homeowners,” Birdsong said.
For now, City House tells us they’ve reached an agreement that allows them to continue to operate in the neighborhood while they look for other sites within Frisco. The attorney for the HOA could not be reached today, but when we contacted Chad Robinson previously, he said, “City House is a great cause. But on the flip side, we can’t pick and choose which rules we enforce.”
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