By Kent Larsen
Brisbane Temple Restrictions at Stake in Zoning Fight
BRISBANE, QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA -- The LDS Church's plan to build a $9
million temple in Brisbane's Kangaroo Point cliffs neighborhood could be
decided in a legal battle set to start next month. While the Brisbane City
Council approved the plans, it did so with building and operating conditions
that the Church considers unacceptable, and which it is challenging.
However, LDS Church officials have declined to say what they will do if they
loose the Church's appeal of the restrictions.
The restrictions originate from complaints of area residents, who say that
the building is "too intense" for the site and not compatible with the
neighborhood. Neighbors fear increased traffic and parking problems, and
residents of the River Terraces Apartments next door to the site say that
the building will impede the views of a third of the apartments and
'diminish the area's aesthetic qualities.' "The visual impact of this
proposal would be severely negative on both the appearance of the Kangaroo
Point cliffs, the residential nature of the suburb and the placid
residential nature of the streetscape, wrote Phil Abernethy, body corporate
chairman of the apartments.
But the LDS Church has owned the nearly 8,500 square meter (about 85,000
square feet - nearly 2 acres) corner block for more than 40 years, and has
had an existing chapel and administrative offices on the property since the
late 1950s. In addition to the Temple, the Church wants to build a chapel on
The Brisbane City Council's approval included several restrictions on the
buildings, including a requirement that only one building be used at a time,
a limit on hours of operation and a requirement that the Church build an
acoustic barrier at the site. But one Church official called the limitations
"absurd" and "ludicrous," and pointed out that most other uses of the land
would be more 'intense.'
The LDS Church announced the Brisbane Temple in mid-1998, saying that it
would serve the Australian provinces of Queensland and New South Wales as
well as Papua New Guine and the Solomon Islands. Queensland currently has
about 40 LDS congregations and 20,000 members.
Temple to transform city skyline
Brisbane Australia Courier Mail 27Jan01 T1
By Anthony Marx