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
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.
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.
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
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 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.
@JoeBlow: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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
"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.
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
How bout this for helping? Already sent to Haiti 225,000 pounds of relief
supplies such as food, medical supplies, tents, water filtration units,
blankets, new born kits, wheelchairs, first aid kits. 3 truckloads of supplies
purchased in the Dominican Republic already been sent in. 9 Mormon meeting
houses left largely undamaged that now serve as relief centers for as many as
5000 people in those local communities. Two medical teams already sent in by
their church.More aid is on the way from the "Mormons" and their
leader has sent out a plea to the almost 14 million strong world wide membership
to help send continued aid to Haiti through it's Humanitarian Services Emergency
Response site. I guess they can do more than just build temples.
To the 3:56 commentor, Why did it stick with you? Did your neighbors
even go to a Church? Did they donate any money to any charity? How much
did it cost to build their place of worship? How much did those
people's house cost? What basis do people have for saying they do not
like how others allocate their money?
Is it the height of the spire that the petitioners were concerned about? My
understanding was that they just didn't want the blight of a Mormon temple in
their neighborhood.They certainly have a right not to. Heck, it's
their neighborhood, after all. Wouldn't YOU rather have a gigantic Wal-Mart with
traffic coming and going 8:00 a.m. to midnight 7 days a week, a live-in drug and
alcohol detox rehab house, or a recycling center that pays people by the pound
for all the bottles and cans they can scrounge off the street and bring in on
their shopping carts?
With that logic, why build any building at all? Our church builds the Temple
with Tithing dollars, which is specifically for that purpose. Our church feeds
the hungry with fast offering and humanitarian funds, which are set aside for
those specific purposes. So because we're a religion we have to
have bad accounting?Those individuals in San Diego, did they live in
a shack and send all their earnings to the starving people? No? Oh, they
aren't a church and therefore not required to meet the standards of charity upon
which they stand to throw stones?Awesome.
To:RE: Jim | 3:17 | 3:56 p.m."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, we
build temples with our tithes and provide humanitarian supplies with our fast
offerings. But, unlike other churches, we do not have a paid clergy.
We serve without monetary payment and are happy to do so. So, yes,
we do have money to spend on beautiful temples that uplift the spirit and are
built to glorify our Heavenly Father.
How about a 90 foot Moroni statue standing in front? That ought to show the
neighbor to be careful what they ask for. As an added bonus, his horn could
blow every hour and half hour.
So it's ok for the people in Farmington to protest the pool opening on Sunday,
but for the people of Phoenix, this is a problem. Once again, double standards
from the LDS.
To JoeBlow, People may OBJECT to the spire all they want. The problem
is that THE SPIRE WAS ALLOWED UNDER ANY ZONING RULES IN PHOENIX. The vote
proposed would have only been to rescind the rezoning, which was ONLY needed for
the extra ten feet of THE BUILDING ITSELF. If you think that the
definition of what counts as primary structure and what counts as spire or the
aws on spire heights needs to be revised, you are legally able to advocate for
their revision. However, to limit the spire on the Phoenix Temple you
will have to revise the Phoenix city zoning laws. Spires are allowed on
religious buildings at any height in Phoenix. You can seek to change
that, but stop acting like the height of the spire has any LEGAL MERIT in this
case. It has none. It is totally not a legal issue, especially since there is
no legal movement afoot to revise these spire laws, or at least there was not as
of yesterday afternoon. I would not be too surprised if the homeowners
association will now start lobbying to change spire laws, but that is a
To the 5:19 commentor, If what the petitioners DO NOT WANT is a MORMON
TEMPLE, then they are in violation of the 1st Admendment, the 14th Admendment
and RLUIPA in trying to use the police power of the state to prevent it.
On the other hand if their objection is ONLY and TRULY on aesthtic grounds, than
they have a legitimate objection. That said, their petition that they
circulated was not against the spire height but the building height. To
change the spire height they would have to first seek an ordinance to impose
limits on religious building spire heights in Phoenix. Since there is NOT SUCH
AN ORDINANCE NOW, they would have to do that first. I am not sure there
is any legal way that they can prevent the spire though, since such an election
would have to be no earlier than this fall, and I am not sure if they could
apply the new rules to buildings approved before the change in the law. I
am not a lawyer and definantly not one versed in the intricacies of Phoenix law,
so I may be wrong and there might be a way to block the spire.
Let me explain what religious bigotry is. If you say, as I have seen
some commenters saying "If this was a Christian Church I would support it, but I
will oppose a Mormon Temple", than your position is in violation of the 1st
Admendment, and thus you CAN NOT use the police power of the state to impose it.
The fact that this is a false diachotomy, ignoring the fact that the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Christian has no legal relevance.
You may be able to refuse to sell to a Muslim mosque but be willing to sell to a
Jewish synagogue. However, if you are trying to use zoning laws to selectively
keep out some religiouns you are in violation of the law. The problem is
that an LDS Chapel, a baptists cahpel, a Catholic Church building, a Quaker
meetinghouse and a Muslim mosque are not actually the same in size, uses or
attendance. Since zoning laws deal with very specifics, and in some places any
religious use needs a variance to occur in any zone, at times it is very hard to
tell if non-religious issues are pretext or fact.
However to fight a religious building in your neighborhood because it is a
place of Muslim worship but to accept a Christian house of worship in your
neighborhood is a clear case of trying to limit the free exercise of religion
and therefore you can not use any governmental or semi-governmental body to
carry this out.
To the 11:17 commentor, The only double standard is in how you analyze
things. If there was a group of people who as their religion felt they
needed to be swimming in the pool while at their religious services you might
almost make sense. However, then there would be two issues. One, is
that an appropriate use of the (I presume) public pool. 2- The city could rent
the pool, and thus have the said religious group pay for it and not have to have
any employees there. The issue is people do not think the city should
force people to choose between their job and Church attendance. Another issue
is people do not feel their tax dollars should be used to support a facility
being open during a time when they never intend to use it. So one issue
is about people using their own PRIVATE PROPERTY and having people object to it,
trying to limit their rights of action on their property, the other is an issue
of when city recreational facilities should be open. Is the pool open 24 hours
a day, six days a week?
If the Farmington pool is open less than 24 hours, six days a week, then their
is already precedent for closing it. So what days and times it will be open is
a matter of public policy, and all citizens of a city have the right to seek to
influence public policy. Now if we were complaining about Jews seeking to
have the pool closed on Friday, there would be a true analogy. If we were
complaining about a group of Orthodox Jews who sought to have certain roads
between their houses and their synagogues blocked off from sundown Friday until
sundown Saturday so that they could more easily walk in large groups to
Synagogue, or would not be disturbed in their reigious contemplation by load
cars on their way to Synagogue, it would at least be analogous in some ways to
the pool issue. If people sought to ban a baptist church from building a
baptismal font because they feared mass baptisms on a Sunday were too like
swimming and they did not want it to occur on Sunday, you would have an analogy
to the temple issue that might make sense. However right now your comparison
JPL - Give it up. You should work for the church in the justification
department. Or maybe the "square peg round hole" dept.
john - take a break. you're our worst nightmare. a religious zealot that won't
stop.you don't have a strap on vest do you?