There are no sidewalks and no curbs on Cross Street, a narrow, tree-lined road rimmed with 27 houses that comprises the tiny community of West Lanham.
Residents describe their neighborhood as "country-like and quiet" - an atmosphere some citizens say they fear will be destroyed if the neighboring city of New Carrollton annexes their property.
In an effort to cash in on the neighboring tax-rich Metro triangle property, the city of New Carrollton is moving to annex 422 acres of adjacent land, including West Lanham and West Lanham Hills, along with the Metro triangle.
Annexation eventually could provide New Carrollton with almost $300,000 a year in new tax revenues when the Metro triangle's multi-million dollar Metro East complex is developed. Of this amount, an estimated $274,000 would come from the triangle property, which is the site of a station that will serve both the Amtrak Metroliner and the soon-to-open New Carrollton Metro line.
Attracted by the city promise of trash and snow removal, contract police, street repair, zoning control and lower taxes, some West Lanham Hills residents have been circulating a pro-annexation petition, which is expected to be completed this week.
But others, who say their community is being "swallowed" so New Carrollton can acquire the Golden Triangle property, have begun an anti-annexation movement.
"They're trying to do snowjob on the people over here, and want to run over us with a steamroller before we even know what's happening to us," said Carole Tarbox, a 10-year resident of West Lanham who began circulating a petition last week, oppositing annexation.
"The thought of having another layer of government appalls me. The county provides excellent services, and it would just duplicate the trash and police services.
"Also, we're more country looking - not as sterilized and manicured as the city. They have codes and regulations that they would impose on us, and I don't like the idea of code enforcement officers going up and down the street telling me what I can and can't do with my property."
Tarbox said she encountered an extremely favorable response from her West Lanham neighbors, and has begun taking her petition to residents of adjacent West Lanham Hills - a larger subdivision with 282 homes. Tarbox needs signatures of 20 percent of the registered voters in the area to be annexed to bring the matter to referendum, should the New Carrollton City Council approve an annexation resolution. So far she has about half the signatures required.
"We don't want to live like they live there (in New Carrollton)," added 68-year-old Anna Littlefield, who first moved to West Lanham in 1939, and is helping Tarbox circulate the petition. "They're affluent and we have small homes. We couldn't live under their codes, and we don't want a lot of laws that don't appeal to us."
Some West Lanham Hills residents say they're pleased that their West Lanham neighbors have begun an anti-annexation movement.
"We're kind of a secluded, older neighborhood, and if it (annexation) comes through the neighborhood would change," noted 26-year-old building contractor Forrest Agee, who said he purchased a run-down home three years ago and renovated it.
"I put a lot of money into this house, and I don't want to see my home torn down. The people in New Carrollton are going to outnumber us on any type of problem, and I don't think they really care what happens to us.
"They feel there's a lot of money to be made, that's why they're pushing it," he added. "They're not looking at the best interests of West Lanham Hills. I'm just scared, because I don't know what they can do."