Jun 10, 2024 - News

🛐 Temple showdown in Collin County

A rendering of a proposed temple in Fairview, Texas by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

A rendering of a proposed temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Fairview. Image courtesy of the church.

The Fairview Town Council is telling the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to design a smaller temple after planning officials voted against the towering structure.

Why it matters: The Fairview mayor has said a church attorney threatened to sue the town

  • "I am very concerned about where this goes if we deny them," Mayor Henry Lessner said last week. He warned that the town could face a costly lawsuit "if we don't show that we are willing to accept having a temple in town."

Driving the news: The Town Council delayed a vote last week that could override the planning and zoning commission's rejection last month of the church's plan for a 173-foot-high building in the Collin County town of 11,000.

  • The normal building height limit is 35 feet in the town, whose motto is "Keeping it country."

The big picture: As the church ramps up temple construction worldwide, disputes over the buildings' heights, light pollution and traffic congestion have erupted around the West.

Zoom in: Fairview city officials said church representatives agreed to revise their plans — echoing compromises offered in Arizona, Utah and Wyoming.

Yes, but: When officials in Cody, Wyoming, rejected the compromise last year, the church returned to the originally planned height of 101 feet in a legal back-and-forth that's pending in Wyoming state court.

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