Residents surprised by Church decision to lower Phoenix temple height

Critics of a proposed Phoenix temple said Wednesday they are surprised the Mormon Church withdrew its plans to exceed residential zoning heights but it's just one piece of their concerns, which they have raised since the church unfolded its proposal last summer.

Church officials said Tuesday they will lower and redesign the height of the temple. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints officials had proposed building a temple, at 51st Avenue and Pinnacle Peak Road, which would be 40 feet high, 10 feet higher than the land's current zoning, which is capped at 30 feet. The temple would still have a 78-foot-high steeple and spire.

"This takes away the zoning that they applied for, but it doesn't take away their right to build on the site," said Scott Anderson, a neighborhood organizer whose political action committee turned in 16,446 signatures in December to get the issue on the ballot before voters.

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