ABINGDON, Md. - From the front porch of the old farm house, Joyce Hooker watched helplessly as urban sprawl wiped away the surrounding rural landscape.
"When we found out they were building down there and back there… Toll Brothers actually built back there behind us, and now all you see is lights at night and before you didn't see nothing but beautiful scenery and woods," said Hooker.
...and it wasn’t just the new neighbors and their homes.
Laurel Bush Road, which winds by the farm, soon became filled with their cars, and ironically, they are the same people now challenging the Hooker’s bid to sell their farm to make way for 172 homes, because of its potential impact on the traffic.
"Well, making this left out of here... you can't see people coming over the hill. It's very dangerous,” said Ryan Smith of the Box Hill North community, “This fence has been taken out maybe once or twice a year and that's just going to create... something bad might happen."
"It's really hard to pull out there. Really hard. Dangerous,” said Melissa Finley, “So our community is complaining about a traffic circle being there. I think a traffic circle would be safe. Their concern of course is that traffic is going to start cutting across our neighborhood."
Surrounded now by the very neighborhoods that are driving them away, Joyce Hooker has little patience for the critics.
"We've lost our land and it's not our fault. It's ridiculous."
Her family will load up the few remnants of a farm that dates back more than a century, and will sell off more than a hundred acres that once held crops to make way for more lots and lawns.
"They don't want us to develop, because we'll mess them up. I don't care. They've already messed us up. You know we just got to get out of here. Let them do what they want and hopefully, we'll get to do what we want."
Toll Brothers, the potential developers, are still seeking approval for their plan.
Meanwhile, the Hooker family is looking for a more remote farm to purchase with a lot less neighbors.
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