Mormons object to Langley housing project

Church elder Paul Christensen stands outside the Langley temple in a 2010 Times image. - File photo
Church elder Paul Christensen stands outside the Langley temple in a 2010 Times image.
— image credit: File photo

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are objecting to a proposal to build higher-density housing next to the Mormon temple at the corner of 82 Avenue and 204 Street, saying it will create parking headaches.

Qualico wants to build 244 housing units in the area, roughly half of them single-family homes and the rest a mix of townhouses, row houses and duplexes.

At a Monday (Dec. 9) Township public hearing on the proposal, church elder Paul Christensen said locating the higher density housing nearest the temple, as called for in the current design, could lead to problems with people using the temple parking lot.

"We do not have sufficient parking to provide community parking," Christensen said, adding the temple would prefer not to be in the position of towing trespassing vehicles.

"It's a church," Christensen said.

"We like to be good Christian people."

Another church representative, Ron Komm, said single family homes would be preferable near the 28,165 square-foot temple he called a "crown jewel."

A Qualico representative told council the mix of multiple and single family housing units meets the requirements of the Township community plan for the area, and the higher-density housing is planned to go nearest the temple because it happens to face onto a major thoroughfare.

Council was expected to make a final decision on the project at an upcoming meeting.

The Langley temple, dedicated in May, 2010, was at the time the seventh built in Canada and 131st in the world by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

It serves 22,000 Mormons from 91 congregations throughout B.C. and northern Washington.

The temple, which is not open to non-members, is reserved for the sacraments of the Mormon church such as baptism and marriage.

Mormons have been in B.C. since 1875, but until the Langley temple was built, they had to travel to Seattle or Calgary for temple services and sacraments.

Details of the Langley temple construction can be viewed on Facebook at "Vancouver LDS Temple."


- with files from Andrew Bucholtz

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