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For week ended January 10, 1999 Posted 21 Jan 1999
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Neighbors Oppose LDS Church's Main Street Plan

Summarized by Kent Larsen

Avenues residents frown on Main Street
Deseret News 7Jan99
By Spencer K. Young: Deseret News staff writer

A public meeting held at the Sweet Library on Wednesday, January 6th was attended by about 200 residents of the Avenues area of Salt Lake City. The residents oppose a plan proposed last month by the LDS Church and Salt Lake Mayor Deedee Corradini to close Main Street in Salt Lake City between North and South Temple. The street lies between two city blocks owned by the Church, Temple Square and the Church's administrative headquarters block. The plan would turn the block into a pedestrian plaza and underground parking facility.

The Church hired Salt Lake Attorney Marc N. Mascaro to promote its proposal. "I go to public meetings for contractors all the time," he said. "The people who come to the meetings don't support the plans."

Residents opposing the plan worrie about traffic problems that would be caused by closing the street, and some called for more study to make sure that the plan would not increase traffic into their neighborhood.

The Church already acquired the land under the street and will begin constructing the 650-car parking facility in the spring. Church officials want to build the park when the parking facility is completed. However, the Church's architects have not decided what features the plaza would have. Under consideration are a fountain, a bike lane and an amphitheater.

Other residents say they oppose the plan because it would only benefit members of the LDS Church. "(The plaza) is not intended for non-Mormons," said resident Cheri Roshek. "It won't be any more inclusive than the rest of Temple Square."

Mascaro also noted that Salt Lake taxpayers will not have to pay anything for the plaza, and that the Church would be prohibited from constructing buildings on the plaza. Salt Lake City Councilman Tom Rogan told the attendees that a Council committee will study the proposal "critically."

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