Fort Collins Colorado Temple
Ground broken on August 24, 2013; full-scale operations pending; anticipated to be completed in late 2015–early 2016 (awaiting official announcement)
Site: 15.69 acres.
Total Floor Area: 30,389 square feet.
Groundbreaking and Site Dedication: 24 August 2013 by Ronald A. Rasband
On Saturday, August 24, 2013, Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Presidency of the Seventy presided over the groundbreaking ceremony for the Fort Collins Colorado Temple, marking the formal commencement of construction. In his remarks, Elder Rasband discussed the history of temples in antiquity, drawing parallels to temples constructed in modern times. "In the dedication of Solomon's temple, King Solomon asked 'will God dwell on the earth?' The Lord answered 'my name shall be there.' That sounds familiar to what we're starting here in Fort Collins, Colorado," he said. When the temple is completed, he said, it will be a house of prayer, of revelation, of learning and instruction.1
On Thursday, February 21, 2013, the Fort Collins Planning and Zoning Board unanimously approved plans for the Fort Collins Colorado Temple, following a public hearing. Concerns expressed by those in attendance included the height of the steeple and the additional traffic, though it was explained that the temple is designed for small groups participating in religious training and sacred ceremonies.
Plans call for a 30,389-square-foot temple rising 112 feet to the top of the angel Moroni statue. One resident asked that the steeple be lowered to 100 feet, but it was explained that the steeple had already been lowered to its lowest height for visibility throughout the 16-acre site, that steeple height is exempt from the height limit, and that other landmark buildings in the city are taller. The Church did agree to turn off lighting of the steeple and angel Moroni statue by 10:00 p.m. and to widen Timberline Road, adding turn lanes and a sidewalk.
Several Westchase residents expressed their support for the project, which is less intrusive than another high-density residential development and adds to the "rich culture" of the neighborhood.2
On September 6, 2011, a land-use hearing was held at the Larimer County commissioners hearing room for the proposed site of the Fort Collins Colorado Temple. The property owners' request for a four-lot plat to be reconfigured into three lots and for a residential restriction to be lifted was granted, clearing the way for potential approval of the temple. Some neighbors in the Westchase neighborhood wanted commissioners to deny the request and to stop plans for the temple due to traffic concerns. Others expressed worry over property values, displaced wildlife, and increased vehicle emissions.
Church spokesman Eric Adams noted that the impact on traffic would be minimal, as the temple does not draw large crowds at any one time. Worship is practiced in small groups spread out over the day with the largest room in the temple holding 50 people. The temple and meetinghouse across the street would operate on noncompeting schedules—the temple being used primarily on Fridays and Saturdays with modest use Tuesday through Thursday (closed Sundays and Mondays) and the meetinghouse being used primarily on Sundays with modest use on weekdays.3
On September 14, 2011, a development review outreach neighborhood meeting was held in the Roundhouse Room of Fossil Ridge High School to discuss the development review process for the temple. It is the first of three neighborhood meetings to be held. At the second meeting—not yet scheduled—sketch plans of the temple will be presented to the neighborhood. Time will be set aside for questions and concerns. At the third meeting, a demonstration will be given to show how public input was considered in the final plan.
On September 20, 2011, a petition was accepted by the Fort Collins City Council to initiate annexation proceedings for the proposed site of the Fort Collins Colorado Temple—an 18-acre parcel located east of S Timberline Rd and south of Trilby Rd. The requested zoning for the annexation is Urban Estate (U-E) where a Place of Worship is a permitted use. A single-family home currently occupies the property. City staff recommends adoption of the Resolution.
On October 3, 2011, a representative of Landmark Engineering held a Conceptual Review meeting with the City. Preliminary documents reviewed at the meeting indicate that the single-level temple will be 26,600 square feet with a 100-foot spire and 274 parking spaces. A temple president residence is also planned for construction south of the temple.
On October 20, 2011, the Planning and Zoning Board held a hearing to receive public comment on the proposed annexation of the intended temple site. Following the hearing—where no public input was given—the Board unanimously recommended the ordinances to the City Council. This decision was later invalided, however, due to improper notification of the meeting to residents. A second hearing was held on November 3, 2011, where several residents voiced concerns over the proposed development's impact on traffic and on the environment including endangered species. Others expressed their support for the facility, which would beautify the area and not pose the perceived adverse effects.
On December 6, 2011, the temple site was annexed into the City of Fort Collins and zoned appropriately. The City Council held a Hearing and First Reading for the annexation ordinance on November 1, 2011. A Second Reading was held on November 15, which was made official on November 25. A Hearing and First Reading for the zoning ordinance was also held on November 15; the Second Reading was held on December 6. Months of design and approval are still ahead including hearings and approvals for the architectural and site plans, which will be presented to the City's advisory and governing bodies.
On Monday, October 15, 2012, the City of Fort Collins Current Planning Division facilitated a neighborhood meeting to discuss the potential development plan for the Fort Collins Colorado Temple. Although a formal application for the temple has not yet been submitted, the proposed building is reportedly 30,000 square feet with roughly 280 parking spaces. The developer's consulting team presented preliminary site plans and gave attendees the opportunity to ask questions and engage in a dialogue with the team. The official rendering of the temple was released to the public in conjunction with the meeting.
The site for the Fort Collins Colorado Temple has been officially announced as land at the southeast corner of Trilby Road and Timberline Road in Fort Collins, across the street from an existing meetinghouse. "We appreciate the many people from Fort Collins who have worked with us during the site selection process," said Russell McClure, president of the Fort Collins Colorado Stake. "We feel this new temple will be a great asset not only to members of the Church in Colorado and the region but also to the people of Fort Collins, who will benefit from the peace and beauty a temple brings."4
On April 2, 2011, President Thomas S. Monson announced that Fort Collins would be the location of Colorado's second temple. Fort Collins is situated 57 miles north of the capital of Denver. There are approximately 140,000 members in the state. The first congregation of the Church in Colorado was organized in January 1897.5
The Fort Collins Colorado Temple is expected to serve members living in northern Colorado, southern Wyoming, and western Nebraska who currently travel to attend the Denver Colorado Temple and the Billings Montana Temple.
The Fort Collins Colorado Temple will be the second temple built in Colorado, following the Denver Colorado Temple (1986).
1. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints News Release, "Church Leaders Break Ground for a Second Colorado Temple," 24 Aug. 2013.
2. Pat Ferrier, "LDS temple gets go-ahead from Fort Collins Planning and Zoning Board," The Coloradoan 21 Feb. 2013, 22 Feb. 2013 <http://www.coloradoan.com/article/20130221/BUSINESS/302210056/LDS-temple-gets-go-ahead-from-Fort-Collins-Planning-Zoning-Board>.
3. Pat Ferrier, "Residents want Larimer County to block LDS temple," The Coloradoan 26 Aug. 2011, 26 Aug. 2011 <http://www.coloradoan.com/article/20110826/LOVELAND01/308260004>.
4. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints News Release, "Site Announced for Fort Collins Temple," 8 Jun. 2011.
5. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints News Release, "Church Announces New Temples in Canada, Colorado and Idaho," 2 Apr. 2011.