DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The expansion of the LBJ freeway is causing a separation of church and neighborhood in one North Dallas subdivision.
King of Glory Lutheran Church sits on the frontage road of I-635, between Hillcrest and Preston. Road construction has cost the church 40 parking spots; roughly 20% of its parking.
“The impact has been significant,” declared Jon Bustard, the church’s Sr. Pastor. Reverend Bustard says the church is looking to replace those lost spots.
Over the past several years, King of Glory administrators have purchased six houses adjacent to its property. Four of the homes are on Clubhouse Drive. The other two sit on Ridgeview Circle.
The plan was to knock down some, if not all of the houses to make way for added parking. However, when some neighbors got wind of the plan, they voiced their opposition. “When we learned that some of the neighbors had concerns, we stopped everything,” said Pastor Bustard.
Braden and Shirley Speer live on Ridgeview Circle. The couple refused to sell their home to the church, because they plan to retire there. The Speers claim the church has made little effort to keep them informed. “They’re never the kind of neighbor that says I’m going to do this; would you mind, or would you consider this,” Shirley Speer added.
The Speers say they were told the home next door was demolished to make room for a small park, but claim they were later told it was for a driveway to the church parking lot.
Pastor Bustard says plans were halted so all the neighbors could be included in the planning. “We really want to be good neighbors and so we have invited our neighbors to be part of the conversation to figure out how best to solve the parking that we’ve lost,” explained Bustard.
Many neighbors who didn’t sell their homes fear an extended parking lot will ruin their Northwood subdivision. However, one former homeowner who sold her house to the church, says she’s happy with her decision and says the other neighbors who are complaining would have also sold if given the opportunity.