TOOELE — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has chosen a new location and a different name for its temple in Tooele County, "after considering current circumstances and opportunities," officials announced Tuesday.
The temple, previously named the Tooele Valley Utah Temple, will now be called the Deseret Peak Utah Temple. Additionally, it will be built at the intersection of 2400 North and 400 West in Tooele, as opposed to its previous location at the intersection of Erda Way and Highway 36 in Erda.
Tuesday's announcement comes months after residents gathered hundreds of signatures for a referendum to rezone the construction site and not allow homes to be built surrounding the temple.
In the original development plans, a residential community would've been built around the temple site. The plans were approved by the Tooele County Commissioners in June, one month before residents started the petition. The referendum did not oppose the building of a temple in the area; it opposed specifically the construction of high-density housing in the area.
Following the community pushback, the church withdrew its plans to build the community in August, regardless of the outcome of the referendum.
"We acknowledge the efforts of those who have raised questions and sincere concerns about the Tooele Valley Temple project, including the residential development surrounding the temple. There is a sincere desire on the part of the Church to avoid discord in the community," the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said in a statement released at the time. "Therefore, regardless of the outcome of a pending signature-gathering effort, we have determined to withdraw our rezoning request for the residential portion of the temple project."
The designs for the three-story and 70,000 square foot temple will remain the same, church officials said. Additionally, leaders for the new project will begin working with city officials immediately. As of Tuesday, the church had not released plans for any residential developments for the new temple site.
"The First Presidency expresses gratitude for the faith and prayers of Church members in this area, and continues to encourage all people to treat one another with kindness and Christlike love," Tuesday's news release said.