Results of Fairview's P and Z Meeting on the Proposed LDS Temple

Results of Fairview's P and Z Meeting on the Proposed LDS Temple

The Fairview Planning and Zoning Committee met this evening to take up the application for the LDS Church on Stacy Rd.  The short story is it didn't pass.  Here's the longer version.

It was a very cordial, fact finding meeting without any drama and there was a huge turnout.  The meeting room was full and there were probably 100 or so people in the hall hoping to get in or waiting to speak.  I watched it all the way from 7-9.  Much of the same things were being repeated, but the first and last 15 minutes were the most informative to me.

The Fairview P and Z members considered approving the application for the church with the caveat the church would follow the guidelines that have already been established.  They then came to the conclusion the best course of action was to deny the application outright and hopefully the church will reapply with a more moderate plan Fairview could live with.   

Here are my thoughts on what I heard but the meeting was recorded and you can decide for yourself if you agree.

  • There were great points made on both sides, those in favor of the church and those opposed with the building plan.
  • I didn't hear a single person say the church wasn't welcome.  They all said with the other churches already there, it makes sense.  Their only objection was the magnitude of the project (a six story building with a 170' spire) and all the lighting and traffic that would go with it.
  • The LDS spokesman was very thorough in the presentation.  It sounds like it's going to be a beautiful building and very nicely landscaped
  • Those opposed to the steeple also had done some good research on Fairview's allowable lumens and whether the existing church plan would exceed it
  • Several people said it would be better suited for another area but some said it would put Fairview on the map.
  • A council member asked the LDS spokesman how the height of the steeple affects the tenets of the church and if steeples that tall in their other temples?  If not, why is this one that tall?  Basically, what is the standard?  I don't recall hearing a good answer on that but if I'm not mistaken, it would be the tallest in the Dallas area.
  • A question was asked if the proposed steeple height is allowed, what stops the next church from doing the same thing?  Also does that open things up for the height on a non-religious commercial building?  Again, don't quote me on this, but I thought I heard the Fairview attorney state there is no carryover from religious to commercial.
  • A question was asked by a city council member why it was called the "McKinney" temple rather than the "Fairview" temple.  The LDS spokesman said McKinney is a  more recognizable city name than Fairview plus both Fairview and McKinney share the same zip code, 75069.  I might be reading it wrong, but it seemed to me the LDS spokesman was saying he couldn't speak for his elders about a name change but it might be something they'd consider.
  • The issue of increased traffic was raised.
  • Many LDS spoke out about how important it was having a church closer to them as the others had become so busy.

What happens now?  I thought when the Fairview P&Z didn't approve the application it was dead in the water, but I was told the city council can still overrule the P&Z ruling to deny the project.  If that's the case, this might result in a meeting with the Fairview city council which will make the final ruling to approve or deny.

PS, I don't have a dog in this fight.  We've lived in Lucas for 25 years now and we're not members of the LDS Church.  I just find it fascinating to watch the wheels of local government turn. 

I'll update this blog when I can get a clarification of what happens on the city side.  I have no idea what the LDS Church is planning.


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