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In Frisco, a development goldrush is underway. 44446 all photos: Steve Satterwhite &6.4.giT A The Exurb Rebellion DATELINE I BY FORREST WILDER TM he fastest growing areas in Texas are no longer the suburbs, but instead remote, once-sleepy towns far from the city center. The media has taken to calling these boomtowns of suburban white flight, “the exurbs.” The city of Frisco, the last stop on the North Dallas Tollway, is one such place. Frisco has gone from a remote farming outpost of 6,000 residents in 1990 to a burgeoning city of well over 75,000 today. By 2015, the city is expected to boast a population of 140,000. Everywhere in Frisco there is evidence of a development gold rush. Many farm fields feature signs that read “for sale” and “proposed for zoning change.” Instead of cotton and wheat, a now-familiar crop of corporate chains like Starbucks and Wal-Mart rise seemingly overnight from the rich, black soil. Farm roads once traversed by tractors are becoming thoroughfares for real estate developments that promise the American dream of a spacious, affordable home with a large garage and St. Augustine grass. In 2004 alone, the City of Frisco issued 3,200 permits for new home construction. But signs springing up on the yards of homes scattered around the city indicate a brewing revolt against business as usual in Frisco. The signs read: “People vs. Goliath. Vote “Yes” on Proposition 1 and 2!” The people in this case are a group of newly minted activist-citizens who are fed up with what they say is an unaccountable building industry that all too often sells faulty homes. The Goliath they face is an alignment of area builders and City of Frisco officials who are pouring resources into trying to stop the consumer revolt. The battle is being joined over Propositions 1 and 2, amendments to the City Charter that supporters believe will strengthen homeowner rights, but which developers and city officials decry as a death knell for the city. Voters will get the chance to decide for themselves on May 7th. The leaders in this grassroots revolt are an unlikely group of activists. A self-described Republican, military family, the BeckasCarol and Dr. David and their adult daughter, Carolynmoved to Frisco in 1997 after Dr. Becka retired from a 28-year career as an Army orthodontist. Looking forward to owning their first new home after a lifetime of constant moving, the Beckas contracted with Huntington Homes, a major Texas builder, for their dream home in the Starwood development, a gated “luxury home community,” as the subdivision’s 10 THE TEXAS OBSERVER APRIL 29, 2005