MacArthur Boulevard, and the building's future neighbors have turned out
several ideas to assuage residents' concerns about the project, City
Councilman Steve Bromberg said.
The biggest: setting up a dummy steeple in the form of a crane city
officials plan to park on the temple site. The crane could be in place
Jan. 1 or shortly afterward.
"This will give people at least some idea of what it will be like to
live with the temple day and night," Bromberg said.
Like the city, church representatives are also getting creative in
ways to accommodate neighbors. They are considering painting the temple a
few shades darker than the off-white originally planned, and they now say
they will turn out the ground lights at 11 p.m. -- a change from a
previous proposal to keep the lights on 24 hours.
"We want very much to be good neighbors," said Weatherford Clayton, a
representative of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.But
flexibility stops where heaven steps in: Many of the design details are
about God and therefore nonnegotiable. Lights radiating upward from the
ground onto the walls have a religious significance. A white or
near-white color is required by Salt Lake City designers, who church
members believe are divinely guided.
And the towering steeple, topped by a lighted gold statue of the angel
Moroni, is designed to lift the eye and the attentions toward the sky.
Church officials aren't budging on the steeple height. And, unlike the
ground lights cast onto the walls of the building, the lights on Moroni
will probably stay on 24 hours.
"I am very encouraged that the church is listening to the concerns of
he people, and I have every reason to believe they're going to continue
working with the people," Bromberg said. "Obviously, the challenge is to
strike a balance."
Except for the steeple, the proposed temple is within all city
guidelines. But it is at the discretion of city officials whether to
allow the steeple, because it exceeds 50-foot height limits for the area
by 74 feet.
The city Planning Commission could get its first crack at the temple
issue by February. If it approves the plans, the City Council will get
the final say.
* June Casagrande covers Newport Beach. She may be reached at (949)
574-4232 or by e-mail at o7 firstname.lastname@example.org .