ALL the News about
Mormons, Mormonism
and the LDS Church
Mormon News: All the News about Mormons, Mormonism and the LDS Church
Posted 19 Nov 2001   For week ended November 09, 2001
Most Recent Week
Front Page
Local News
Arts & Entertainment
·New Products
·New Websites
·Mormon Stock Index
Letters to Editor
Continuing Coverage of:
Boston Temple
School Prayer
Julie on MTV
Robert Elmer Kleasen
About Mormon News
News by E-Mail
Weekly Summary
Submitting News
Submitting Press Releases
Volunteer Positions
Bad Link?

News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church

Sent on Mormon-News: 09Nov01

By Kent Larsen

Harrison Temple Delayed, Issue in Recent Town Board Election

NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- The Harrison, New York Town Board again delayed a decision on the LDS Church's proposed temple by commissioning a fourth study of the proposal's effect on traffic in the neighborhood. The decision, which came just over a week before Tuesday's election, which included several board seats, will delay the board's decision for at least six months. The week before the board's decision, the issue of the temple was raised by voters at a League of Women Voters candidates debate.

In a unanimous vote on Monday, October 29th, board members said they were dissatisfied with three previous traffic studies done more than two years ago for the town Planning Board, two of which were done by independent consultants and one by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Planning Board eventually approved the temple, but decided to study the traffic again after construction to see what changes would be needed in neighboring streets.

But that decision angered neighbors who oppose the building. Subsequently the Harrison Zoning Board of Appeals refused to waive the town's 30-foot height limit to allow the 53-foot-tall building. After the LDS Church challenged the decision, an acting state Supreme Court justice overruled the board, and the town is appealing the decision.

Meanwhile, the Church has proceeded, asking the Harrison Town Board to grant a needed special-exception permit, which the board has been considering since last Spring. The building's opponents have attended each board meeting to oppose the building. Now, the board has voted to spend about $100,000 for the study, claiming that the previous Planning Board decision "didn't adequately compare what was being built in Harrison with what's gone up already in similar communities," said Town Supervisor Ronald Bianchi, one of those running for re-election Tuesday. "If this temple is going to bring in so much traffic that its going to tie up our roads, we need to know that in advance."

Local residents used the recent election to make their point about the temple at a candidate's debate on October 23rd. A group of residents opposing the temple questioned the actions of Joseph Cannella, 51, a Manhattan corporate attorney who chaired the town Planning Board when it considered the Church's application. The opponents tried to get Cannella, who is running for an open seat on the Town Board, to answer several specific questions about the Planning Board's decisions during the three-year-long permit application process. But debate moderator Ruth Stern, who is a resident of nearby White Plains and can't vote in the Town Board election, combined the questions and asked Cannella to speak generally on the issue, frustrating the opponents, "He got to regurgitate his platform instead of reponding to specific questions not of his choosing," said Harrison resident Gary Brandt, who is opposed to the temple.

In response to the questions, Cannella defended the Planning Board, saying that they got stuck with a difficult application in which they had to balance protecting the neighborhood with freedom of religion. "I don't blame the residents for being upset. As a resident of the town, I'm not in favor of the temple. The town receives no benefit out of this, and we don't have a significant Mormon population. But when you're on a board that has to consider the application, you have to move that aside and apply the law to the facts as best you can. You really have no choice." Cannella did take credit for getting the Church to scale down the project from 89,700 square feet to 56,000, removing a third floor, rejecting a visitor's center, reducing parking and proposed lighting and eliminating four spires and a steeple.

The other candidates in the debate stayed away from the issue, and subsequently declined comment on the issue. But while the emotional issue came up in the debate, it wasn't enough to keep Cannella from winning a seat on the Town Board. In Tuesday's elections, Republican candidates swept the two Board seats up for election and won the town supervisor position, beating incumbent Democrats for all three seats.


Harrison OK's fourth Mormon Temple traffic study
Westchester NY Journal News 31Oct01 D1
By Karen Pasternack: Westchester Journal News
4th Traffic Study to Delay Decision on Temple Plan

Harrison candidate defends actions on Mormon temple
Westchester NY Journal News 24Oct01 D1
By Karen Pasternack: Westchester Journal News

Republicans sweep Harrison board
Westchester co NY Journal News 7Nov01 D1
By Karen Pasternack and Len Maniace: Westchester Journal News

See also:
Residents Question Traffic at Planned Harrison NY Temple

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


[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information