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A Look at the Mormon Temple Plans

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints presented its proposal to wetlands commission Monday.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, also known as the Mormons, has filed its plans for a proposed Farmington temple and gave its first presentation to planning officials Monday night.

The extensive plans include hundreds of pages, detailing every aspect of the proposal, from parking spaces to the placement and type of each shrub and tree.

The Mormon temple would be 35,500 square feet, set at an angle, with the entry facing the corner of Farmington Avenue and Melrose Drive, according to the plans. The building, which would be nearly 30 feet tall, would be surfaced in white granite and ringed with walkways and formal landscaping. The entryway appears flanked by pillars and a steeple is topped with a statue of the Mormon prophet Moroni.

The plan also calls for two other buildings on the property – a 2,094 square foot house for a caretaker couple and a 753 square foot utility building. Buildings and parking lot would cover just over 36 percent of the 11-acre site – less than the 40 percent required in town code.

Flanking the temple site on the plans is a proposed “New Town Road,” which would eventually connect Melrose Drive to Bridgewater Road – across from the Wood N Tap. The Church plans to build the road, running parallel to the river, from Melrose Drive to a temporary cul de sac. Peter Fishman of PKT Development, which owns the development on Bridgewater Drive, plans to build the other half of the road, to connect the two streets.

The land behind the temple site is owned mostly by Roger Toffolon, under the name Farmington River Development. The area was being mined by Connecticut Sand and Stone but is no longer and Toffolon is agreeable to allowing the new road to pass through his property, Town Planner Jeffrey Ollendorf said.

To go forward, the plan will have to gain approval from both the Inland Wetlands Watercourse Conservation Commission and the Town Plan and Zoning Commission.

From the zoning commission, the group would need a zoning change, from Business-Retail with the offices currently on the property, to R-30, which allows religious institutions.

Mormon representatives presented the plan before the town's Inland Wetland and Watercourses Commission Monday night. The presentation was made by a team that included a soil scientist, landscape designer, civil engineer, project manager and several others.

The property is subject to the wetlands commission because it is close to the Farmington River and to several small and one large wetlands areas – all but one outside the property. Project Manager Kerry Nielsen told the commission that the project would improve the water quality of the property, have no effect on the wetlands alluvial soils (those near the river) and the Church will work to create a landmark on the site.

“We build sites that are meticulously planned out and maintained,” Nielsen said.

The commission tabled the matter until its next meeting. In the meantime, the Town Plan and Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing on the proposed temple May 23.

Paul Chotkowski May 21, 2012 at 03:02 PM
I end my participation in this discussion thread with an observation. Congress is prevented from making laws “respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. My Strict Constructionist soul cringes every time I say it but precedent has extended this prohibition to the Executive Branch, Hartford, and even Monteith Drive. Therefore the question concerning the LDS Temple’s approval may not be based on religious doctrine. The church’s application appears to have met the established requirements but that is what the town’s commissions are empowered to determine - subject to the ultimate oversight of the ballot box. I find it noteworthy that some of the same people that prattle on about the necessity of manufacturing a diverse environment in the town’s schools thru our participation in and subsidization of Project Choice students from Hartford find increasing the town’s “diversity” with one of only 79 Temples in the country to be undesirable. It would appear that the Progressive / Socialist’s “Third Great Awakening” [apologies to Whitefield - 1st and the Campbells - 2nd] which focuses on collective salvation thru social justice, diversity, and the prevention of climate change are not satisfied with a jizya, they want total submission and the elimination of any competing doctrine [Ouch, got carried away with too many mix religious reference in that last part]. It is about the building not the doctrine Comrade Congregant!
Tee Darge May 22, 2012 at 02:52 AM
Its comical how 89% of the posters here do not live in this community, but instead cheerlead the LDS cause. Unlike Salt Lake and much of Utah, the citizens of Farmington never took an interest in designing a transportation infrastructure and are currently at the mercy of the country club. For those who have never visited, route 4 is a mess all times of the day. Years of sleeping on the problem has developed into a tremendous problem where even a few more cars is too many. All traffic from west of farmington funnels into the Rt 4 corridor and comes to a head in Farmington village. Visiting LDS members will hate the 30 min wait at the ramp of 84. Trust me there are greener pastures. Go east of the river!
Tee Darge May 22, 2012 at 01:29 PM
Additionally, the argument that another business or source of traffic would eventually move there is moot. Town council and PLZ is all to aware of the traffic situation which is why no mall or large business has moved there to date, but even more concerning is the flooding. The towns wetlands review by the will likely be a rigged show - too much money is clearly sloshing around just to make this happen. Anyone living near there is aware that this area is a flood plain (so should be wetlands) and floods nearly every spring. Anyone doubting this should go to crcog.org an use the flood plain map there to satisfy their doubts. But let me be clear, having a Mormon temple would be an honor, but not at the cost of more traffic and destruction of the natural areas surrounding the river - a river that is about to be labeled wild and scenic by the Feds. I'm sure certain interest groups are holding this up until this project is done. Again too much money sloshing around in the political landscape. My final comment is around where I think a better location for this would be. Southern Farmington has great access to highways, large tracts of land, better access to hotels/dining, and route 6 is four lanes. Please put it there a all will be much happier. BTW - clearly all commenters have not googled accommodations and dining for this area. One hotel and a bunch of small eateries and bars. I doubt the bars are of of interest.
Jackie May 24, 2012 at 04:12 AM
I am resident of farmington and have been since I was in kindergarten for the most part. I moved to local towns in the past 10 years. I have had three children. I recently came back to stay with my father because my youngest child was diagnosed with cancer and I had to quit my job to take full time care of him. Being on SSI and only SSI, I can not aford the driving it takes to get my 3 kids around. I deal with the traffic everyday and yet i would LOVE a place to practice my faith. I can't afford to go to any wards but this would be within 1 mile of where I live. This is what I need in such very hard times on my family
Kaitlin Glanzer May 24, 2012 at 10:15 AM
Hi friends, here's the update after last night's meeting: http://patch.com/A-t5xc.

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