The vote was unanimous. The crowd applauded their approval. The Gilbert LDS Temple is officially approved by the Mayor and his Town Council!!!
You will likely get a better reporting from a local newspaper, but here is my take on this wonderful evening!
First of all, it was such a LONG meeting. It started at 6:30 and I left early just after the temple vote at 9:15… oh boy! What a long night. There were 68 people who requested to speak IN FAVOR of the temple. None were opposed. By 9:15 we hadn’t heard from even one of them.
The temple building will stand approximately 85’ tall, with the spire adding another 95’. With a structure reaching 180 feet, an official letter from the FAA had to be obtained stating that the height would not cause a safety concern for airplanes.
There has been some concern in general about the height of the building. So this issue was addressed for A LONG time! Legal Counsel for the church cited the Boston Temple case where the appellate court judge stated that spires are an important part of the buildings… part of the building’s sacred structure… (this case is Martin vs. LDS Church) Also, a ton of research was done on surrounding buildings. If anyone is in the area and familiar with the ROME Towers, the temple building (without spire) will be about that size and scale. In the end, all concerns were adequately addressed.
Those unsightly power lines on Pecos & Greenfield are going to be buried… it sounds pretty complicated. There are all sorts of stipulations set out by the power company about a myriad of issues that arise from burying the lines – even what kinds of vegetation can be planted above them. And, the sidewalks will be owned by the church, but will be open for public use.
This temple is going to be larger than the one in Phoenix currently being built. It is on a larger plot of land and will have more square feet. There are no plans for a Visitor Center, Easter Pageant or large displays of Christmas lights.
One funny story, Council Member Les Presmyk wanted to make sure he was on record for being disappointed that there was not going to be a large Christmas light display. He stated he would much rather sip hot chocolate while walking around these temple gardens than the one in Mesa. To this Mayor John Lewis asked the Church’s Legal Council (Paul Gilbert), “Will there be hot chocolate for Council Member Presmyk?” Gilbert replied, “I don’t want to be accused of bribing a vote, but I will personally make hot chocolate for Council Member Presmyk.”
Before the council voted, the floor was opened to those people who requested to speak… in this case the 68 people who had turned in little request forms. Gilbert addressed the Council saying he was pretty sure he could speak for all 68 people... suggesting that they were okay to NOT speak at this time (due to the time constraints). Everyone got a chuckle, but out of formality, Council had to ask if there was any one who did actually want to speak… Gilbert then jokingly replied, “If you do, it will be 12% tithing.” Everyone laughed so hard… and nobody felt like adding their comments to the already long night.
So the vote was taken and all those pretty green lights next to the council member’s name lit up. And the temple was approved. Everybody clapped and I am pretty sure there were some moist eyes all around the room.
A temple is being built in my backyard!!!
How cool is that????