Church unveils Phoenix temple redesign

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Tuesday unveiled a redesign of its Phoenix temple featuring a lower and wider building than the original plan.

Last year, the church had proposed to build a temple with 86 feet of spire atop a 40-foot building next to an existing meetinghouse near 51st Avenue and Pinnacle Peak Road, where zoning caps building heights at 30 feet. Though the Phoenix City Council approved the height, neighbors disagreed and raised concerns about traffic and how the light of the steeple would affect the night sky.

Residents collected signatures to take the matter to voters, but city leaders in February rescinded their decision. Eventually, the church decided to redesign the temple.

Under the redesign, the Phoenix Arizona Temple will be 30 feet high and the spire an additional 90 feet, a total of 6 feet lower than the original design. The structure will total 27,423 square feet with a basement, said Jennifer Wheeler, a temple spokeswoman. She said the redesign started from "scratch."

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