Comments about ‘Mormon church will lower height of Phoenix temple’

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Published: Wednesday, Jan. 27 2010 12:18 a.m. MST

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Good to see the church is being a good neighbor and complying with the zoning. People in Phoenix love their outdoor views and prefer not to have them cut off by very tall buildings.


I just read the complete story in the Az Republic.

On the surface, this seems to be an issue of only 10 feet of height.

According to the article (graph) the maximum allowed height in the zoning district is 30 feet.

The proposed temple is 126 feet.

The steeple and spire are certainly not INSIGNIFICANT structures.

So based on my math, the proposed temple is exceeding zoning by a mere 96 feet or 3 TIMES THE LIMIT.

Is that what they call "fuzzy math"?


The church is bending over backwards to accomodate the complaints of a few thousand people who signed a petition, not because their properties will be affected in the least by this beautiful temple, but because the "Mormons" want to do it. Let's call this what it is -- religious prejudice. Yes, I'm an Arizona resident.

lots to say now--how about then?

Someday, when the temple is built, there will be many who will say:

"Hey, whats with the squaty, stocky, stumpy, out-of-proportion smashed down look of this Temple?"

Will these whiny people who are insisting on the lowered height be willing to stand up and take credit for the less than perfect look (that they could have had if they had minded their own business) as vocally as they are clamoring now?


Although I by no means sympathize with the neighbors, and although I see this as a basic issue of religious freedom, I wasn't a big fan of the architecture as shown in the rendering, and I hope that the Church takes advantage of the redesign process to come up with something less boxy.

To JoeBlow

You can rest assured that the city planning commission knows its zoning codes. The height restrictions apply to occupied building space. Purely decorative elements like the steeple are not covered by the 30 ft. height limit and are governed by different codes.

For JoeBlow

If you'd been following this story all along you'd actually know that the spire and steeple structures do not fall under the same height considerations. On top of that the spire tapers to a point that is only a few inches wide. Honestly, it will enhance the view of the skyline.

I wish I lived in that neighborhood. Their property values are about to get a very nice boost, despite their protests.

So, will the local residents

now say, "Thank you for listening to us. Move forward with your plans"? Or will they come up with another excuse to oppose the construction? I hope it's the former.

John Pack Lambert

The land was REZONED. Thus, the current zoning of the lot where the temple is planned is for a 40 foot building.
This might be a question of wodring. They could say "will be built no higher than the 30 foot zoning of the surrounding properties".
However as the Arizona Republic worded this article, it is incorrect.


"On top of that the spire tapers to a point that is only a few inches wide."

While I understand that statement, it is misleading.

Much of the structure that makes up the spire and the steeple are MUCH LARGER than "a few inches wide".

The average "non-member" would hardly want such an imposing structure across the street, regardless of the religious denomination.

And while I think the temples are a pleasing looking structure, it is out of place in a neighborhood setting. It is certainly not what the zoning commission had in mind when they set the limit at 30 feet for a "neighborhood church"

Why is that so difficult to understand?


It amazes me how when we talk about Prop 8 we're happy with what the majority of people say but when we talk about LDS temples, it's about rights of the minority, religious freedom, interpreting laws, or how much money can be made. I see a double standard here.

Zadruga Guy

It is not difficult for me to understand that you believe that temples are "out of place in a neighborhood setting" because they are "such an imposing structure." What is difficult for me to understand is why you believe that a structure meant to glorify God is out of place in ANY setting.


Instereo - excellent point! Hear hear!

Sidebar: While the look of a mormon temple does not offend me, they are hardly something that a non member would be interested in having to look at daily. I pass by a sikh temple, a synagogue and a scattering of xian churches every day and if one was propsed for my neighborhood, I would protest till I went hoarse.

to Instereo | 1:40 p.m

Who said anything about a majority of the residents being against the temple?

Regardless, no one from either side is calling for judicial review of the case or for a popular vote. To compare the two is disingenuous.

Re: Instereo

I don't see a double-standard. First, the Church is working solutions WITHIN the law. Second, I've heard no official representative of the LDS Church complain about minority rights, religious freedom, and such regarding this issue. I think the Church is being quite gracious and flexible in addressing these concerns.

As for the opinions written here, they are just that: opinions.

Just Sayin'.....

So the temple height issue has been resolved, and despite anti's doom-and-gloom prediction, the LDS church gave them what they wanted. Gee, imagine that.

So, any guesses on how long it will be before the anti's find another issue to complain about on the Phoenix temple?

"Windows?! You want windows, too?! We said you could have doors, but now you want windows? And you have to have xeriscape landscaping that uses cactus but your cactus is from southern Utah, not Arizona!"

And on and on and on and on.....


I find it interesting to see that most of the signatures gained on the petition were gathered by people standing outside the mega churches. I doubt that the 16,000 plus signatures were from actual residents of that area.

From my experience, most people who oppose temples, usually retract their comments after they go through them prior to their dedication.

@Zadruga Guy | 2:00

There you go looking through your "LDS-colored" glasses again and forgetting that there are such things as zoning and planning departments in most cities across the U.S.

The point of such zoning is to prevent mis-steps like a rendering plant or something of that ilk being built in a residential neighborhood.

As as fellow Mormon, I do my best to follow the 12th Article of Faith and recognize that I am subject to "kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law." If you want to see zoning and other restrictions changed, get involved with your local government. That is what the residents of the area did - and that is their right based on the local government ordinances. If you aren't a resident of the area, you have no standing in relation to the local government. Period.

RE: Jim | 3:17

"From my experience, most people who oppose temples, usually retract their comments after they go through them prior to their dedication."

In preparation for the open house for the San Diego Temple, my parents invited every neighbor on our cul-de-sac to tour the Temple. After the open house, our neighbors two doors over made a comment that still sticks with me, "With so many people starving and other problems in the world, your church chooses to spend millions of dollars on a building when that money could be used to help so many people."

Yes, yes, a Temple is the House of the Lord and dedicated to him - but, that comment is still with me all these many years later.

Rbert Watson

Jim in your comment concerning the building of temples - vs starving people. One answer would be "can we do both?" Be informative about the church's wellfare/humanitarian outreach. Yes we do both - build temples and we also feed the hungry.

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