WAXAHACHIE

It has been five years since Linda Osborn first envisioned building her dream home on a 94-acre piece of property on Howard Road. This week, her husband, James Henry, and the Waxahachie City Council got her one step closer to that vision.

The retired couple has owned their 94-acre property for over 10 years. With the land located two miles away from the Ellis County Courthouse, Henry said he likes to walk out every morning, smell the fresh air and just graze around the property, appreciating the several creeks and pecan trees that decorate the land.

‘It looks like Getzendaner Park,” Henry remarked. “It’s a unique piece of property. We have no neighbors, and I like it that way. When you’re out here, you feel like you’re in the middle of the country.”

Although Osborn loves the property, she said she’s never been the biggest fan of the house she’s lived in. As nice as it is, she’s always wanted to live in a house made on her own – not one that was inherited.

“She never got to build her own house,” Henry remarked. “For the last five years, she sat there in her little chair at night, looking at a set of plans she found that she fell in love with.”

Her first attempt at building her house was in 2013. Unfortunately, the Federal Emergency Management Agency extended the flood plain that same year.

FEMA ended up taking the exact spot that they planned to build the house.

“Where we wanted to build this house was now in the floodplain,” Henry remarked. “They took about 20 acres of our land in that the previous floodplain didn’t.”

Since then, they’ve more or less put her dream home on the backburner to focus on taking care of the rest of their property.

But in August, Henry decided to take a second crack at it.

“When we started, all we had was a little plat,’” Henry stated. “I didn’t even know what a plat was. So we came bee-bopping down here, stopped at the building, and said ‘Hey, we want to build a house right here.’”

However, before they could go through with their plans, planning director Shon Brooks had to tap the brakes and walk Henry through the zoning process. He explained that the property was zoned as future development and needed to be rezoned into planned development for single-family use.

He also explained that Henry needed to request a preliminary plat for the property as well.

“Once we finally got down to the roots, they’ve been pretty good,” Henry said of Brooks and the city staff. “He’s really bent-over-backward for us.”

Between filing the application in December and having the council recently approved both the rezoning and preliminary plat requests, Henry has consulted with the city for about two months now.

Brooks said he’s been happy to help the couple in navigating the ins-and-outs of the city’s involvement in their property.

“This is her dream home,” Brooks stated. “My job is to tell them how to make it happen. They’ve been awesome working with me, trying to figure out what exactly it is what they want, and how we can make it work.”

Henry and Osborn are now moving on to the next step – actually building the house.

“We’re looking forward to building our forever-more home on the farm,” Henry stated. ‘This is all one big farm - one big family.”