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Posted 13 Sep 2001   For week ended September 14, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 10Sep01

By Kent Larsen

Residents Question Traffic at Planned Harrison NY Temple

HARRISON, NEW YORK -- Residents of Harrison, New York are questioning the amount of traffic that proposed Temple in their neighborhood will bring, and are asking the Town Board for an independent study of traffic patterns in and around the site and at other Temples around the country. A lawyer representing the residents, Jeff Grant, will ask the board for the study at the board's meeting tonight.

"We believe it's clear that the Planning Board did not reach a proper conclusion regarding the traffic issues around the proposed temple," said Grant, who represents about 20 residents. "The Town Board should retain an independent expert to study the traffic patterns in and around this site and other similar temple sites around the country in order to make a thorough determination."

The Planning Board reached its decision on traffic two years ago, deciding that a traffic study wasn't necessary until after the Temple was built, but residents charge that a study after construction would be too late to make changes. Town Board members say they have reviewed the case, but aren't ready to reach a decision.

Ahead of tonight's meeting, the lawyer representing The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says that the Planning Board's decision was supported by an independent consultant and should be affirmed. Church lawyer Jim Staudt called for the process of getting comments from the public to conclude, with appropriate responses from the Church, and for the hearings to end, "We want this hearing to be conducted in a fair manner, and we're hoping that after over five years, the town will bring this process to a fair conclusion," Staudt said.

The Church is asking the Harrison Town Board for a "special exception" permit that covers how the Temple will be used. The permit is the final requirement necessary for the Temple, following the already-obtained approval of the Harrison Planning Board, and a still-in-dispute zoning variance from the Harrison Zoning Board of Appeals. When the Zoning Board of Appeals turned down the application, the went to acting state Supreme Court Justice Peter Leavitt, who overruled the board, ordering it to grant the variance. [In New York State, the Supreme Court is not the highest level in the court system. It is a trial court, and its decisions can be appealed to an appellate division, and then to the Court of Appeals, the state's highest court.] In April, the town filed an appeal of Leavitt's decision, which has not yet been heard.

Meanwhile, a report in the Westchester Journal News indicates that local Church members remain quiet on the issue. The Jornal News talked to local member Dorothy Bench, a resident of nearby Scarsdale, New York, who said that she hasn't spoken at the meetings on behalf of the Temple because she believes justice will prevail, "Some good things take time," she said.


Residents ask for Mormon temple traffic study
Westchester co NY Journal News 10Sep01 D1
By Karen Pasternack: The Journal News

See also:

Environmentalists Gain Support from Harrison NY Temple Dispute

Town Meeting Highlights Neighbor Feelings Over Harrison Temple

White Plains Temple Presentation Attracts Opponents

LDS Church Proceeds With Final Steps for White Plains NY Temple

Harrison NY Appeals Decision Favoring Temple

NEWSFLASH: Harrison Temple Gets Judge's Blessing

Proposed White Plains Temple Loses Zoning Decision

White Plains New York Controversy Makes Local News

LDS Leaders Request Fast For New York Temple

White Plains Temple Opposition Intensifies

Mormon News' Coverage of Zoning Challenges to LDS Building Projects


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