The Flower Mound Planning & Zoning Commission voted unanimously Monday night to recommend approval of a site plan for a new parking garage and addition to be built at The Village Church on FM 407.
The church is planning on removing a 14,700-square-foot retail building connected to the west side of the church, and replace it with a three-story parking garage with 447 parking spaces. Then, the church plans to build a 16,500-square-foot addition on the north side of the existing church building. Both projects would require the removal of some existing surface-level parking spaces, but there would be a net gain of 208 parking spaces after the projects are completed.
The church says it has had parking issues ever since moving into the old Albertson’s grocery store in 2009.
“We have said for years that we want to be known as a welcoming home within our church and within our community,” said Lindsey Eenigenburg, a church spokesperson. “We want to be a place where people can stay and linger, developing meaningful connections before and after our services. However, our parking lot and foyer constraints have forced people to leave as quickly as they’re able in order to allow others to attend the next service.”
The lack of parking spaces has meant that the church has to shuttle people from a secondary parking lot in Highland Village, and still other cars overflow into neighboring parking lots.
“Our plans to expand our facilities and build a parking garage will alleviate the burden placed on our members and guests to leave as quickly as they came, and will even invite people to stay a little while longer, meeting others and finding new ways to belong within our church,” Eenigenburg said. “Additionally, we are landlocked and unable to build ‘out’ with more surface parking. So we are forced to go ‘up’ with a parking garage. We expect this garage to solve our parking issue entirely for normal weekends, and therefore we will no longer require the use of shuttles outside of Easter and Christmas Eve services.”
The Village Church is hoping to break ground on the parking garage in early 2024, and complete it in late 2025. Construction on the addition at the front of the church would begin later in 2024 and also end in late 2025. The addition at the front will give the church flexible space and a newer, welcoming entrance.
“In a time where we are facing a loneliness epidemic, we want to create space for people to belong,” she said. “Right now, our space encourages people to hustle in and hurry out. The new green space and outdoor area will encourage people to hang out. These spaces will be open to our church and our community who wish to enjoy a comfortable setting for conversation and connection. The multipurpose building that looks out over the new green space will serve the needs of our weekday and weekend programming, even creating a sacred space for weddings, funerals, and more.”
The Village Church purchased The Shops at Flower Mound shopping center it anchors last summer. Eenigenburg said the church honored existing tenants’ lease agreements, and has worked with each owner on the west side of the property on a relocation plan.
Following the P&Z’s unanimous recommendation for approval, the request will now go to Town Council for final approval.