Homes May be Built on Unity Church Land

The agenda for Thursday’s City Plan Commission meeting includes an application from Preston Hollow resident Charles Hicks to rezone the east end of the property owned by the Unity of Dallas church. He plans to build a gated community of 18 single-family homes, with each one having an “excessive” lot size of 8,200 square feet.

Rick Hawkins, president of Unity’s executive board, said there was a house on the land at one point, but it was torn down about 10 years ago.

“We just really haven’t needed the land for parking or other needs,” Hawkins said. “We thought the best thing to do would be put it out on the market.”

About a year ago, Hawkins and Hicks said, the church was discussing selling the land to a company that wanted to erect an assisted-living facility. Although I have no memory of that, both men said the idea wasn’t a popular one.

“There was a lot of discontent about that — some concerns about various issues related to putting a facility like that in the neighborhood,” Hawkins said. “So we passed on that, and Charles came along with his plan, and we thought that would be something that would be palatable to the neighborhood and also satisfy our need to sell the property.”

Hicks, who lives just west of the church on a street where the lots range from 5,100 to 8,000 square feet, said he’s developed several thousand lots in suburbs such as Frisco, Garland, and Little Elm; he was also involved in the development of Willow Lane, just south of the Cooper Aerobics Center, he said.

“I saw this property floundering, and — being a neighbor — I felt like I would have a better chance of getting the support of the neighborhood,” Hicks said.

Nonetheless, he said, he does expect some opposition at Thursday’s hearing: “Has there ever been a zoning case where there wasn’t?”

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