Albany blocks construction of new Mormon church

The Planning Board on Thursday unanimously rejected a bid by a Mormon congregation to demolish the old St. Teresa of Avila middle school on New Scotland Avenue and replace it with a church.

Moving to deny the demolition request, board member Ryan Hancox said the building is "intertwined with the fabric of the neighborhood" and pointed to the church's own estimates that the cost of building a new church and renovating the old school were "nearly identical."

The vote effectively halts the project, which raised neighbors' concerns over the size of a proposed parking lot, and may set up a legal confrontation between the city and the Salt Lake City-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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