LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – Neighbors around Lone Mountain launched a fierce opposition to forthcoming plans for a new temple for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, as a church leader promises to address some concerns.

Neighbors created a petition with more than 700 signatures and a Preserve Rural Las Vegas website. Various neighbors have expressed concerns over traffic and the massive footprint, but many have concerns over height and lighting in a rural area.

Attorneys for the project held a neighborhood public meeting and disclosed in renderings that the height of the steeple would be 216 feet.

Long-time rural zoning restrictions for the Lone Mountain area bar developers from construction projects with massive footprints, with height and lighting restrictions.

In late 2022, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints announced plans for a second temple at the 20-acre site off North Grand Canyon Road.

Last week, the City Council of Las Vegas voted to amend longstanding code in the district, paving the way for houses of worship to get a Special Use Permit to build in the area.

“Our homes are limited at 35 [feet]. This is nearly 200 feet taller than any of our homes,” said concerned neighbor Matt Hackley.

“They’re going to have the church lit from dusk to dawn. The view, the darkness, and the vision of the mountains—that’s going to be gone. It won’t be rural,” said concerned resident Renee Newman.

Numerous residents own and ride horses, and voiced concerns about the safety to continue to do so.

“We ride our horses in the area. There’s going to be too much traffic. It’s just not safe anymore, and that’s not why built out here in 2007,” said concerned resident Kara Walker. “I would like the church and the city and us local residents to be able to sit down and consider other optimal sites,” Walker said.

Community members also are lobbying Clark County leaders as the project progresses through city and county commissions.

Leaders for the church recently released renderings for the proposal.

“Temples are so special, they are so significant. We build them, and then we dedicate them to God, they are literally a house of the Lord. Things like the size and the height of the building are part of the deep religious meaning and symbolism of the building itself,” said Bud Stoddard, stake president of the Lone Mountain Stake. “We will be evaluating ways that we can address some of the concerns that have been raised by the neighbors,” he said.

For decades, the Mormon community has had one temple at the base of Sunrise Mountain. Stoddard said there has been a long-time need for a West Valley location as the Valley keeps growing and traffic keeps increasing.

The City of Las Vegas released the following statement on the next steps:

On Tuesday, April 9, 2024, the Planning Commission will hear the presentation of the proposed LDS temple, inside City Hall at 6 pm where the general plan amendment and zone changes will be presented to the Planning Commission.

During this time, the Planning Commissioners will learn the details of the proposed LDS temple and will conclude with a recommendation that will be sent to City Council.

On May 14, 2024 the proposed LDS temple will present their Site Development Review to the Planning Commission where discussion about the size, height, parking and aesthetics of the proposed LDS temple will take place.

Following the Planning Commission meeting the proposed LDS temple will come to City Council for another full presentation. The City Council would then vote on the project.

Councilwoman Francis Allen-Palenske of Ward 4 also released the following statement:

“While many people are eager to hear my opinion on the proposed temple, it’s customary to allow the Planning Commissioners independence to perform their duty without the influence of the councilperson. Until then, I am seeing the outreach from both supporters and those in opposition and reading all of the comments. As our community begins to debate the details of the proposed project, please remember to be kind and neighborly, even when we disagree.”


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