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For week ended August 22, 1999 Posted 29 Aug 1999

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Compromise steeple will cap Mormon temple, pending trial

Summarized by Kent Larsen

Compromise steeple will cap Mormon temple, pending trial
Boston Globe Northwest Weekly; page 7 22Aug99 C3
By Caroline Louise Cole: Globe Correspondent

BELMONT, MASSACHUSETTS -- The LDS Church has decided to construct a smaller steeple on the Boston Temple while awaiting the results of a lawsuit by neighbors fighting the height of the steeple. The smaller steeple, which will be finished with granite, will stop at about 70 feet, instead of the 139 feet planned by the Church. The lawsuit contesting the size of the steeple was filed two years ago.

The proposed 139-foot steeple would rise more than twice as high as the 58-foot (about three stories) building. This larger steeple was approved by the Belmont Zoning Board of Appeals, but their decision was challenged by the neighbors in the lawsuit. In order to get a speedier resolution to the trial, the church filed an emergency motion requesting a "speedy" trial date. According to the scheduling clerk for the Middlesex Superior Court, the lawsuit will be heard no sooner than early next month.

"This trial has already been scheduled and postponed six times since last December," said Kenneth Harvey, the Church's lawyer in the case. "We are getting to the point where it is going to be very costly and inconvenient for us to complete the steeple if we can't get a decision while we still have construction crews on the site." Harvey estimated that the cost of constructing the building could increase by as much as $200,000 because of building the smaller steeple, if the larger steeple is eventually approved.

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