Meridian Idaho Temple
Construction approval upheld at public hearing held October 23, 2013; groundbreaking not announced
Site: 15.78 acres.
Ordinance Rooms: Three ordinance rooms (two-stage progressive) and five sealing.
Total Floor Area: 65,960 square feet.
No groundbreaking date has been announced for the Meridian Idaho Temple.
On October 23, 2013, following a four-hour public hearing, the Ada County commissioners voted 2-0 to uphold the approval granted by the Planning and Zoning Commission for the Meridian Idaho Temple project. The hearing was scheduled after a resident appealed the commission's August 8 decision, saying that the temple would have an adverse impact on the continued enjoyment of her property. One of the three commissioners was absent, and one of the two present asserted his impartiality, though he is a member of the Church. Nearly 60 people gave testimony, about 80 percent in favor of the temple. The resident who filed said the temple's size, lighting, noise, and contribution to traffic would be "grossly intrusive to my life and my property." The project manager noted the fast development of the area, which is no longer rural. Another neighbor of the temple concurred saying, "There is a reality, and the reality is if this land doesn't have a temple on it, it's going to have something on it. I would rather look at a quiet, sacred space."1
On August 8, 2013, the Ada County Planning and Zoning Commission approved the application for conditional use, master site plan, hillside development, private road, property boundary adjustment, landscaping, lighting, and signage approval for the Meridian Idaho Temple, an adjoining meetinghouse, and a utility building. The public hearing, which lasted four and a half hours, drew standing-room-only crowds and culminated in a 3-2 vote in favor of the plans with a restriction that nighttime lighting be limited to ground level after 10:00 p.m. The hearing first began on July 11, but it was tabled until the next meeting so that additional visuals representing the bulk, mass, and height of the temple as seen from the west and southwest could be produced.
On May 14, 2013, the official rendering of the Meridian Idaho Temple and site plan were released to the public in conjunction with a neighborhood meeting held as part of the government approval process.2 The design is a departure from the traditional towers and steeples of other Latter-day Saint temples, reminiscent of the Cardston Alberta Temple—the faith's first temple to be designed without a tower, though the Laie Hawaii Temple (based on the Cardston design) was dedicated earlier. The multi-level temple will be topped with a beautiful gold dome-like structure supporting a gold-leafed statue of the angel Moroni. A meetinghouse and utility building will share the property.
The Meridian Idaho Temple will stand on the Boise River at 7345 North Linder Road in Meridian, approximately a 12-mile (or 20-minute) drive from the Boise Idaho Temple. The two temples will serve together to meet the needs of the Saints of the Treasure Valley and its surrounding region.3
Idaho's fifth temple was announced during the Saturday morning session of the 181st Annual General Conference for the city of Meridan, the third largest city in Idaho, located about 11 miles west of the capital city of Boise. The Church has been established since 1855 in Idaho where over 410,000 members of the Church reside.4
Meridian is the fastest-growing city in Idaho with a 115 percent increase in population from 2000 to 2010. During this time of rapid expansion, three additional stakes were organized in Meridian and four more in the surrounding communities of Nampa (the second largest city in the state), Kuna, and Middleton. The Meridian Idaho Temple will reduce demands on the nearby Boise Idaho Temple, where endowment rooms often fill near capacity during busy operating hours.
The Meridian Idaho Temple will be the fifth temple built in Idaho, following the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple (1945), the Boise Idaho Temple (1984), the Rexburg Idaho Temple (2008), and the Twin Falls Idaho Temple (2008).
1. Cynthia Sewell, "Ada commissioners uphold Meridian LDS temple approval," Idaho Statesman 24 Oct. 2013, 24 Oct. 2013 <http://www.idahostatesman.com/2013/10/23/2830990/ada-commissioners-uphold-meridian.html>.
2. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints News Release, "Rendering of Meridian Idaho Temple released to the public," 14 May 2013, 15 May 2013 <http://mormontemples.org/eng/meridian/rendering-of-meridian-idaho-temple-released>.
3. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints News Release, "Site Announced for Meridian Idaho Temple," 19 Dec. 2011.
4. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints News Release, "Church Announces New Temples in Canada, Colorado and Idaho," 2 Apr. 2011.