In a narrow vote (7-6), the City Plan Commission approved Prestonwood Baptist Church‘s proposal for a 40-foot illuminated cross in the northeast corner of its property at 12123 Hillcrest Road. Four neighbors spoke in opposition to the plan, including former commissioner Carol Scott, who gave an impassioned defense of trees and darkness.
“I can’t understand the illumination and the massive tree removal only to show off a 40-foot cross,” Scott said. “I have it on good authority that this large cross … will make a terrific traffic and accident area.”
Pastor Chris Kouba said the lighting will face the building and is “not intended” to reflect on anyone’s home. He said it will be turned off at midnight, along with the rest of the lighting already on the property.
“The trees we have already done our due diligence on,” he said. “We do have the right to remove any trees as long as it’s tied to a permit, which it is.”
Despite this disagreement, Kouba said the church’s desire is to be “good neighbors.”
“We do not think [the cross] will affect in any way our relationship with the surrounding community,” he said.