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For week ended December 19, 1999 Posted 18 Dec 1999

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Temple steeple suit finally gets its days in court

Summarized by Kent Larsen

Temple steeple suit finally gets its days in court
Belmont MA Citizen-Herald 15Dec99 N1
By Denise Dube: Correspondent

BELMONT, MASSACHUSETTS -- The lawsuit preventing the LDS Church from completing the steeple on the Boston Temple was finally heard, with closing arguments presented to the Judge on Tuesday. The lawsuit challenges the Belmont Zoning Board of Appeals' decision to allow the Church to build a 130-foot steeple on the Temple.

"After so many delays we were pleased to have the issue heard before the court. We firmly believe that we are within our rights to construct the steeple and that we followed all appropriate procedures to receive approval for the steeple from the town," said Diana Pisciotta of GPC/O'Neill &Associates, the LDS Church's PR firm for the Temple. The Belmont Citizen-Herald wasn't able to get comments from the plantiffs' attorney by press time. The trial was originally filed in May 1997, and delayed multiple times due to the Court's schedule. The Court began hearing the case Wednesday, December 8th.

The judge that heard the case in Middlesex Superior Court will deliberate and issue a ruling when he is ready.

Meanwhile, the appeal of the U.S. District Court's decision on the constitutionality of the "Dover Amendment" that the Belmont ZBA relied on when allowing construction of the Temple has been scheduled. Arguments are to be heard in the case before a three judge panel of the First Circuit Court of Appeals in January.

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