|Zoning - Gateway Church
Prestonwood Baptist Church sold its facility to Gateway Church, which has its principal
DFW-area campus in Southlake. Gateway plans to begin services in March, 2016. The
property is heavily restricted by its zoning -- PD 709 -- and a site plan which basically limits
it to what is there now. Those restrictions go with the land, regardless of who owns it.
The approved site plan for the Church allows only a few very small areas for expansion of
the building, indicated in light blue. It can be viewed here. To change the site plan in any
way -- including parking, driveways, or landscaped areas -- would require re-zoning,
including public hearings before both the City Plan Commission and City Council.
The Hillcrest Church announced that it has been sold to Prestonwood Baptist Church.
Since 2004, the property has been heavily restricted by city zoning. Any expansion or
significant change in the configuration of buildings or parking lots would first require a
zoning change, and to change the zoning would entail multiple public hearings at the city.
During its time in the neighborhood, the Hillcrest Church was the source of several
conflicts with nearby residents. Issues included its continued expansion and purchase of
single family homes to turn into parking lots, parking cars illegally on single-family zoned
lots, using a local residential street as a shortcut for its church shuttle buses on Sunday, its
off-duty police officers not allowing residential traffic to turn onto Willow Lane when
church services were letting out, and (just prior to the 2011 sale to Prestonwood Baptist), a
proposal to add a school on the campus, which was dropped in the face of stiff opposition
In 2004, under pressure from the neighborhood, the Hillcrest Church was zoned into a
Planned Development District (PD). The PD conforms with the written agreement the
church reached with various neighbors following two lawsuits. The new zoning was
approved by the City Council on December 8, 2004.