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Battle over Phoenix temple likely to continue

Critics of a Mormon temple in north Phoenix said they will pursue a referendum to overturn this week's City Council decision to allow the structure at 5104 W. Pinnacle Peak Road.

More than 1,000 people showed up at Wednesday's council meeting at the Orpheum Theatre. Supporters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints applauded the decision.

The church can now add 10 feet to the Phoenix Temple, making it 126 feet high, including 86 feet of steeple and spire. Construction is expected to begin by 2011.

Opponents said city leaders ignored their concerns about the size of the temple and the amount of traffic it will bring to the neighborhood. After the council's vote, they organized a new political group called the Phoenix Property Rights Coalition to collect the necessary signatures to put the issue on the ballot.

Scott Andersonis the chairman of the coalition, which has a goal of collecting 15,000 signatures by Jan. 2. The coalition is in a "fight for the property rights of our neighborhood and all of the neighborhoods of Phoenix," Anderson said.

City officials said the coalition needs 9,800 valid signatures from registered Phoenix voters to qualify for a referendum. If the coalition submits enough valid signatures, the city will then certify them and subsequently, the council will have to reconsider the matter at that time.

Read the rest of this story at azcentral.com
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