In a heartwarming story about the triumph of property values over the human spirit, a Frisco homeowners association has finally persuaded a nonprofit serving the homeless to get the hell out of the neighborhood. The homeless teens living in Frisco's Plantation Resort 2 neighborhood can stay there for now, but the organization housing them plans to put the property back on the market.
Rob Scichili, the spokesman for City House, says his group will take its time and not sell until they can break even or possibly profit from the sale of the house. And after the sale, he says, City House plans to house the teens at some other home in Frisco, in a neighborhood that will hopefully be more welcoming to his organization. "We're going to do our due diligence and take our time," he says.
City House has been sheltering teens in two houses in Plano since 2006 and never had any problems from the neighbors, Scichili says. So last April, City House began its expansion into Frisco with the purchase of a house in the city's Plantation Resort 2 neighborhood, renovating it with a $47,000 grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Scichili says it never occurred to City House that the local HOA might try to fight the program, not until after City House finished the renovation and started getting cease-and-desist letters from the board of Plantation Resort 2 just as two women and a baby were about to move in. Through their attorneys, Plantation Resort 2's board requested an immediate injunction to kick the teens out while a trial was pending, a request that a judge denied this past October. Despite having the legal system on its side for the time being, City House officials decided that Plantation Resort 2 wasn't worth the fight anymore and settled with the HOA.
In the course of the legal drama, one Plantation Resort 2 neighbor had filed an open records request with the Plano Police Department about calls to City House's Plano properties. The neighbor got back a long list of calls since 2012, according to a document listing the calls, which was sent to us by another neighbor after we asked to see it. Most of the offenses are marked simply as a "disturbance" and have no report filed, though there does appear to have been one assault call and one child abuse call over the past two years. Scichili says he's seen that same list but doesn't have any information about what lead to those calls. (We've sent an open records request to the Plano PD to get more information).
But in court documents, it was simply draconian HOA rules that the Plantation Resort 2 board rested its case on. PR2's attorneys argued that all houses in PR2 must be designated for single family use only, and that housing young, unrelated women there clearly violated that rule. And at the October court hearing, a local real estate agent testified that the City House program hurt the "marketability" of other homes in the neighborhood.
With City House now agreeing to look for another place in Frisco to house the teens, the Plantation Resort 2 neighborhood can once again enjoy its reputation of being a neighborhood with really marketable homes that once sued to stop homeless teens from moving in.
Send your story tips to the author, Amy Silverstein.