13 news has been following this story for the past month, and tonight the Wasatch County Council will make a crucial decision on whether to approve the construction of a temple proposed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Fox 13 news reporter Chris Arnold is currently at the meeting where supporters and opponents of the Temple Project are expressing their views.
The meeting began at 6:00 p.m. and is still ongoing, with the venue at full capacity. Three main issues to be discussed by the County Council are the Legislative Development Agreement (LDA), the approval for the land where the temple will be built, and the site plans for the temple building itself.
The co-founder of “Save Wasatch Back Dark Skies” and a Hebrew City resident, Lisa Beash, states that her resident group is not against having a temple in the valley, but they would prefer a different location. The current location is zoned for 1-acre residential or agricultural lots with a maximum height of 35 feet, while the temple will reach 210 feet in height and have an 88,000 square foot parking lot. Since September 2022, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been seeking to build the temple on an 18-acre property at 1400 East Center Street in Hebrew City. Concerns from Beash’s group include the lighting and groundwater impact of the project, particularly since the temple site resides on a Class one aquifer, where significant amounts of water will be pumped both during construction and on a daily basis.
On the other hand, Richard Brill, an active member of the LDS church whose home backs up to the temple property, supports the temple being built in his own backyard due to the large LDS population in the area. Similar scenes from the previous Wasatch County Planning Commission meeting were witnessed during the public hearing at the County Council meeting, with supporters and opponents of the Temple Project once again filling the room. County officials are revisiting various aspects of the project, including potential issues such as lighting, dewatering plans, and the proposed height.
While some hope for a better understanding of the temple’s purpose and a resolution, Beash’s group hopes the County Council will postpone the decision rather than voting on it, citing concerns about the site and the use of a Legislative Development Agreement. The meeting is ongoing, with members of the public given approximately two minutes each to voice their opinions.
Earlier, a representative of the project mentioned receiving a letter from the City of Heber expressing support for moving the project forward. Fox 13 News will continue to provide updates on the meeting and any final decisions made. Reporting live from Hebrew City, this is Chris Arnold for Fox 13 News Utah..