The case of the proposed Mormon temple steeple is a perfect
example of how neighborhood issues can be worked out with
discussions, negotiations and maybe just a little bit of prayer.
The steeple has been contentious since the Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints proposed the new house of worship for Newport
Beach, in particular the Bonita Canyon neighborhood where it will be
For Mormons, the $10-million, 17,575-square-foot temple is a
It is the only place where certain religious ceremonies can take
place, such as marriage.
The Newport temple, as the first and only in Orange County, would
surely serve as a testament to the fervently religious members of our
community, who follow a multitude of faiths.
So it's no surprise that members of the church are waiting in
great anticipation for the temple's completion and are rightly
excited about what it will offer the Mormon flock and the community
But as is the case with many issues in Newport Beach these days,
the temple's size and even its architecture became a lightning rod
for criticism from neighbors.
Thanks to the efforts of the City Council, especially Councilman
Steve Bromberg, Mormon Church leaders and the neighbors, it seems the
problems have been solved.
What was once going to be a 124-foot steeple dropped first to 100
feet, then just this week to 90 feet.
In reality, the church, protected by federal laws and church and
state divisions, probably didn't have to make the concessions it did.
But church leaders did the neighborly thing, and the result has
been praise from the city and Bonita Canyon neighbors, who feel that
the concerns of both sides have been addressed.
Like the structure itself, the discussions that took place on the
Mormon temple and steeple could well serve as a model for the future.