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For week ended June 20, 1999 Posted 26 Jun 1999

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Steeple on hold, temple work progresses

Summarized by Kent Larsen

Steeple on hold, temple work progresses
Boston Globe Northwest Weekly; Page N08 20Jun99 C3
By Caroline Louise Cole, Globe Correspondent

BELMONT, MASSACHUSSETS -- This week, construction workers will begin installing 4-by-6-foot panels of imported Italian granite on the exterior of the Boston, Massachussets Temple, while attorneys prepare for a court hearing next month on the height of the temple's single steeple, planned at 70 feet higher than local zoning rules allow.

Members in the area are excited to see the progress on the temple. "We are very excited watching the construction move into this phase," said Grant Bennett, a local bishop. The $30 million building is about half finished, but construction on the steeple has not begun pending resolution of a lawsuit by neighbors which challenges the Belmont Zoning Board of Appeals' decision to grant the Church a variance for a 139-foot steeple.

Bishop Bennett indicates that interior work is also well underway, with electrical and plumbing work complete in the temple's basement.

Two weeks ago, a USDistrict Court judge ruled in favor of the LDS Church, turning back a challenge to a 48-year-old law called the "Dover amendment" which exempts churches and educational institutions from parts of the zoning laws. Attorney Mark White, the lawyer for the neighbors challenging the law, say they are preparing an appeal.

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