Neighbors Voice Opposition to Newport Beach Temple
NEWPORT BEACH, CALIFORNIA -- Neighbors of the proposed Newport Beach
California Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
are objecting to the Temple's construction, making this proposed
Temple the latest with public objections from its neighbors making
the news. But unlike the circumstances of other proposed Temples, the
Newport Beach Temple only needs one approval, a height variance for
its 124-foot steeple, for construction to proceed.
The neighbors' list of concerns over the Temple is also similar to
the concerns of neighbors in other locations. They are concerned over
the amount of traffic that the Temple may bring, the lighting of the
Temple, and even the building's landscaping and color. The Church has
already agreed to change the color of the building from an off-white
to an earth-tone shade of seashell. But with each of these concerns,
the Church's proposal seems to meet local land use law and
regulations. "The steeple is the only item I see at this point that
does not meet standards," Senior Newport Beach Planner Jim Campbell
told the Los Angeles Times.
The proposed steeple, however, greatly exceeds the local height limit
of 50 feet, requiring a variance from the city planning commission.
The request for a variance should come before the planning commission
in a March or April meeting, said Campbell. It must then also be
approved by the city council.
To help the neighbors get an idea of the steeple's height and
visibility, the LDS Church will place a construction crane on the
proposed Temple site starting this weekend, and extend its beam to
the full height of the proposed steeple. The crane is scheduled to be
placed on the site January 28th, and will stay on site for five days
-- until February 1st.
But one neighbor group claims the crane won't be there long enough,
"We were asking for it to be put up for two months, at the very least
two weeks," said Steven Brombal, head of the Bonita Canyon Homeowners
Assn. But the crane is costing the Church $175 an hour, day and
night, so the Church isn't willing to put it there for more than five
days. Originally, the Church proposed putting the crane in place for
just three days.
But Brombal complains that the timing doesn't leave his group enough
time to notify association members and neighbors about the crane and
why it is there. The neighbors include not only Brombal's group of
287 homeowners, but also more than 1,000 members of two homeowners
groups in the nearby Harbor View neighborhood. The Harbor View groups
have not made any objection to the building so far.
The proposed Temple is located near the intersection of Bonita Canyon
Drive and MacArthur Boulevard. The Church announced plans to build a
Temple in Newport Beach on April 21, 2001 and unveiled plans for the
Temple October 23rd, 2001. The plans call for a 17,500-square-foot
building constructed on 5.5 acres next to a currently-used LDS
meetinghouse. The Temple will serve more than 44,000 Church members
who currently use the Los Angeles and Sand Diego Temples.
Steeple stand-in to hang around longer
Los Angeles Times 19Jan02 D1
By June Casagrande
The Mormon Church will install a crane for five days instead of three
to give Newport Beach residents more time to see what proposed temple
would be like.
Timing of temple plan criticized
Los Angeles Times 18Jan02 D1
By June Casagrande
Residents near a proposed Mormon temple continue to have concerns
about their possible neighbor.