Friday, August 26, 2011

Opposition To Proposed LDS Temple In Fort Collins, Colorado Emerges; Impacts On Traffic, Health, And Environment Questioned

The Fort Collins Coloradan reports that opposition to the proposed temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Fort Collins has emerged, with concerns expressed about the impacts on traffic, health, and environment by the construction of a 27,000 square foot building in a neighborhood currently zoned residential. A map of the proposed site is available HERE. There is no overt sign of any local anti-Mormon bigotry behind the opposition, at least not yet.

KMGH Channel 7 also published a brief story; the 51 public comments appended so far may be of interest.

One of the opponents, David Hirning, best reflects the concerns of others. He notes that Trilby and Timberline Roads are already busy roads that will get even more congested with the presence of a temple. He believes property values will plummet, wildlife will be displaced and the increased vehicle emissions will be harmful to health. Another opponent says existing traffic problems already make it a "disaster" to try and get out of the neighborhood during the morning rush hour. Public comments to the story are also quite instructive, showing that opponents are focusing on the possible combined effects of a 27,000 square foot building serving the religious needs of more than 200,000 Mormons living in Wyoming, Nebraska and Colorado; they fear they'll be "inundated", so to speak. While these concerns are understandable, a visit to the official LDS Fort Collins Temple site and also to the Fort Collins Temple FAQ site will resolve most of them. To wit:

1. Area Coverage: Smaller than advertised by the media; the expected service area is limited to northern Colorado, southeastern Wyoming, and western Nebraska. When a temple is built, the LDS Church creates a temple district, in which only certain stakes are incorporated. This will maintain a virtual quantitative cap on the number of Church members who will use the temple; the number would only rise very slowly.

2. Traffic Load: LDS Church spokesman Eric Adams said the largest room in the temple estimated will only hold 50 people and will be used throughout the day by small groups. The number of people using the temple at any given time will rarely, if ever, exceed 100; members are required to make appointments in advance to use a temple. And since some local residents are already reporting traffic problems during rush hour, the opening of the temple is likely to spur local officials to improve local road access to the neighborhood even sooner than originally anticipated.

3. Size of the Temple: The large size of the temple is more reflective of the diversity of use rather than the number of people to be accommodated. LDS members use the temple for three primary purposes; to perform eternal marriages, proxy ordinances for the dead, and to receive their endowments. Each function is accomplished in a DIFFERENT part of the temple. Thus, the temple must be large enough to accommodate the different functions.

Opponents of the temple will get a chance to place their concerns on the public record on Tuesday, September 6th, 2011, at 3:00 p.m. during a land use hearing to be conducted by the Larimer County commissioners. The current property owner is requesting that the existing four-lot plat be reconfigured into three lots and that a residential restriction be lifted to clear the way for approval of the temple. An annexation petition for the site has been submitted to the city of Fort Collins, meaning plans for the actual temple would likely go before Fort Collins for approval.

Update September 7th: In the first public hearing on September 6th, Larimer County commissioners approved a plat change for the 38-acre property upon which the temple will be built. This is merely the first step to allow the LDS Church to acquire the land; it does not constitute permission to build the facility. Commissioner Tom Donnelly said other issues raised by residents - including traffic and safety - are valid concerns and need to be addressed, but in a different forum. Already some misinformation about the proposed temple is circulating; opponents said they had received a letter from the city stating the facility would include a 27,000-square-foot building with a 475-space parking lot. However, Ken Merritt of Landmark Engineering said the letter was inaccurate. Although the building has not been designed, the parking lot is likely to have only about 275 parking spots.


Illusions said...

I think, We will need to keep on eye on the finances of the city council members. As odd as it is, this church is not above resorting to less then honorable tactics to get what they want. They made a man go back on his word so they can build there. He signed a paper saying that he would never let anything other then homes be built on that land. Then the LDS people convinced him that money was more valuable the his word and his honor.
We really need to keep on eye on them they play dirty and use the facade of a church to hide there deeds. During the county board meeting if you watch the video Mr Merrit (while making his closing speech) picks his nose and wipes it on the podium. Dirty Deeds!
Keep the lighthouse under 30 feet and turn off the lights at night.

Illusions said...

Oh yah, If they need 275 parking spaces for 50 people, they are doing their carpooling all wrong!..

Anonymous said...

Has anyone considered how a temple at the approach end of a runway would affect the airplanes? I'm guessing Allegiant airlines wont like it much. Just a thought.

jessums321 said...

To the first comment, you should know that the church pays for all of the construction by itself, the church does not take money from the community/city. the church pays for everything by itself. There is only one LDS Church temple that i know that was paid for not by the church, and that was the Newport Beach California temple. the members there wanted a temple, however the church doesn't just put temples everywhere for just the heck of it, there has to be a substantial populations of members in the area. Newport didn't have that, but the Church authorities did tell them, that if they wanted a temple the members in the area would have to come up with the money to build it. and guess what! they did! All the other temples are paid for out of the churches pocket. So get your facts straight from a reliable source such as before you go on to try and tarnish this oragnization.

Anonymous said...

okay have the 300 plus temples or however many there are on the earth right now been a problem with airplanes?? No

Anonymous said...

LDS Temples throughout the world only enhance the local community and those coming to the temple will spend money in the Fort Collins area. So why all the fuss by the Non-Mormons??? What if it was a huge Baptist, Mega-Church, Caltholic, etc., etc.???