Critics on increased size of Phoenix temple plans

The redesigned Phoenix Temple has expanded in size because it went from a two-story building under the original plan to a one-story building with a basement, church officials said.

Last week, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints unveiled a new design to neighbors at the church's meeting house, 5104 W. Pinnacle Peak Road. Neighbors noticed a taller spire but paid less attention to the 27,423-square-foot temple with a basement, which is an increase from the 9,500-square-foot footprint the church proposed last year.

In 2009, the church proposed to build a temple with an 86-foot spire atop a 40-foot building in an area where zoning caps building heights at 30 feet. Although the Phoenix City Council approved the height, neighbors raised concerns about traffic and complained that the steeple lighting.

Residents collected signatures to take the matter to voters, but in February the council rescinded its decision after the church said it would redesign the temple.

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