By Kent Larsen
Redlands Temple Plans Released, Few Obstacles Expected
REDLANDS, CALIFORNIA -- The plans for the Redlands, California Temple call
for a 130-foot spire that will stand out in a city with few buildings taller
than two stories. The plans also show a one-story building with dramatic
glazed windows buffered from the surrounding neighborhood by citrus trees
and elegant landscaping. And, best of all for local members, city officials
expect few obstacles to the buildings construction.
The building's most notable feature, the 130-foot spire, is exempt from city
height restrictions, according to Planning Director Jeffrey Shaw. "Our code
states if you're a church, relative to steeples and towers, then you're
exempt from the height requirements," Shaw said. And that same code will
also ensure that the Temple's dramatic place in the city's skyline will
remain; since 1997, the city's 'growth control initiative' has prohibited
buildings taller than two stories.
The proposal is expected to go before the city's planning commission in
September, and Shaw has asked the Church's architects to submit a traffic
study estimating the number of people who will use the building each day.
But Councilman John Freedman doesn't see that as a problem, "I don't think
the traffic is going to be an issue because someday we will probably widen
Wabash Avenue," he said.
In addition to the approval of the planning commission, Church architects
must also get the city council to approve changing the property's zoning
from its current agricultural zone. The land, purchased in the late 1980s
when the Church built the adjacent stake center, is currently a citrus grove.
The city council's approval led to a possible problem for Councilman Kasey
Haws, an LDS Church member. Haws worried that his Church membership might
raise a conflict of interest and keep him from voting on the issue. But he
says city attorney Dan McHugh confirmed that as long as he doesn't have a
financial interest with the Church and hasn't represented the Church (Haws
is an attorney) in at least a year, there isn't any conflict. "Since I have
no financial interest with (the church) I can vote," Haws said.
Because the property was purchased before 1997, the Church will not be
required to complete a socio-economic cost benefit analysis. The plans also
indicate that the church will build a block wall to separate the Temple from
neighboring property, replacing backyard fences currently in place. The
building will also be lighted from 10 am to 11 pm each day, unlike most
Temple faces few obstacles at City Hall
Redlands CA Daily Facts 3Jul01 D1
By Jamie L. Johnson: Staff Writer