Local couple's feud with home builder escalates to biblical proportions

- We're told to love our neighbors, but a local couple's feud with one of America's largest home builders has escalated to biblical proportions. 

If you're in the brand new community of Fosters Ridge you can't miss it.  There are giant pictures of Jesus hanging in the trees of Toni and Jim Collins backyard along with signs, lights and a 1200 foot long zip line.  The couple put up the display along the fence line separating their property from Fosters Ridge. 

"It looks like a circus at night.  We were praying the news media would get involved because that's the only way anything is going to get resolved," said Myron Smith, who bought a home in Fosters Ridge.

The Collins are targeting the neighborhood after losing a three year long property title feud in court to the builder, DR Horton.

"It was all trees, beautiful.  It was so thickly wooded," said Jim Collins.

At issue is a 1,000 foot deep strip of land the Collins say they have the property title to.  In a statement DR Horton says they're the legal owner of the land. 

"All these signs, what's the purpose of putting them up?" asked Sally MacDonald, Fox 26.

"It's twofold.  One, the public needs to be on notice that there's a lawsuit.  People should not be buying something and not knowing.  My idea was people needed to see, get exposure to Jesus because that must be the reason why this happened," said Toni Collins.

In the last few weeks, people moved into the homes that back right up to Jesus.  They didn't want to talk, but other neighbors are wondering what they can do.

"We'd like to see all the signs taken down.  It's stupid.  Their signs say lawsuit.  Well, they've lost twice," said Smith.

"Can neighbors force the couple to take their signs down?" asked Sally MacDonald, Fox 26.

"The first amendment protects their right to free speech. They can speak out as they see fit.  If they are taking action that invades your quiet enjoyment of your property the courts can take action there," said Fox 26 legal analyst Chris Tritico. 

So far action in court has involved allegations of trespassing and theft, Jim's arrest, restraining orders and a lot more.  The Collins have appealed the final judgement.  They argue the jury never heard evidence of an ancient land survey they say still exists, the Seiberman Survey. 

"We need to reestablish the name Seiberman because he died fighting for the independence of Texas. In his honor he got this survey, and now they're trying to obliterate it," said Toni Collins.

The Collins say they would have worked with DR Horton had they been given an easement.  They want to turn the houses that have been built into homes for charity.  For now they're still rolling out new signs, ensuring this "not in my backyard fight" has no end in sight.

 

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