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TOOELE — The real estate arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints revealed plans Tuesday for a proposed community to be built surrounding the announced Tooele Valley Temple.
The plan includes more than 32 acres of open space, parks, and walking trails, hundreds of homes, and a 55-plus adult community, according to the church’s development branch, Suburban Land Reserve. The temple will be located on the intersection of Erda Way and Highway 36 in Erda, Utah.
“We're excited about it out here,” Tooele County commissioner Kendall Thomas said. “I am excited. I am speaking as one commissioner, and I think I think other commissioners would agree with me too.”
The Tooele County Planning Commission will hold a virtual public meeting on May 6 to discuss the proposed community.
“That's the first big step,” Thomas said.
The proposed community would surround and complement the new three-story, 70,000-square-foot temple. Rendering plans for the temple had previously been announced.
“In addition to contributing to needed utility infrastructure around the temple, this community will help protect the temple and create a place where people can enjoy the setting of this sacred building in ways that are important and meaningful to them,” Steve Romney, president of SLR, said in a statement.
Thomas said the church has worked closely with local government in planning the project and has made a strong effort in not only getting feedback from local officials, but also that of the community.
“They've just really been awesome to take public input,” Thomas said. ”The church has tried to accommodate everybody's requests the best they can.”
Thomas said there’s overwhelming support among the county residents. He didn’t have the exact numbers but stated it was around 95% of public comments supported the proposed plan.
New infrastructure for water, sewage and other utilities will be needed to build on the nearly vacant land. Renderings of the plan show a community featuring a park, pickleball courts, a walking trail, and grass playing fields. If the concept plan is approved, SLR will engage local and regional homebuilders to construct the proposed community.
“This development will improve and enhance the vacant land around the temple site for generations to come,” Ashley Powell, president of Property Reserve, Inc., said in a statement. “We are committed to developing a vibrant neighborhood where people of different ages and income levels will enjoy living within walking distance of the temple. The temple’s timeless architecture and manicured grounds will be a beautiful, enduring central feature of the community for all who will live there, regardless of religious affiliation.”
A groundbreaking date for the temple has not been set. A timeline for the new community will be set after government approval.