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LDS Church begins formal application to build Wasatch County temple

An artist's rendering offers an early look at the Heber Valley temple.
Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints
An artist's rendering offers an early look at the Heber Valley temple.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has started the approval process to build a temple in Wasatch County but has hit a setback. 

On the heels of a recent update to Wasatch County lighting code, development applications now must show a plan for how a building prevents light pollution at night. This week, the LDS Church hit a snag in that process as it filed to secure permission to build the temple it announced back in 2021.

Shortly after the LDS Church said it would build the temple east of Heber City at 1400 East Center Street, it asked the county to update its lighting rules.

The changes the county council approved in April included some of what the Church asked for: “up lighting,” or shining lights into the sky is now allowed, but lights must shine dimmer than what the Church requested.

Before the Church builds the temple, it needs the county to approve a building application. Before that can happen, it has to get a site plan approved.

Wasatch County Planning Director Doug Smith said it did submit a site plan, but it was incomplete. The application was missing some of the required details for the lighting plan, the new requirement under the recent code amendment.

County staff expect to receive an updated application soon, at which time it will go to the development review committee, then planning commission.

County Manager Dustin Grabau doesn’t expect that to take long.

“I think we're expecting soon that we will have a complete application, and then we'll begin to process that specific site plan,” he said. “That will involve public meetings at the planning commission and county council and maybe others as well as we go through this process.”

The Church has said the temple will be 88,000 square feet and with a steeple reaching 196 feet high. Plans also include 461 parking spaces. These are details that the county must approve in the building application.

After the Church made the first announcement of a Heber Valley temple in 2021, it held a groundbreaking ceremony in October 2022.

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