Sacramento California Temple
123rd operating temple
Physical Address2110 California Circle
Rancho Cordova, California 95742
Mailing Address2090 California Cir
Rancho Cordova, CA 95742-6402
Announcement: 21 April 2001
Groundbreaking and Site Dedication: 22 August 2004 by Gordon B. Hinckley
Public Open House: 29 July–26 August 2006
Dedication: 3 September 2006 by Gordon B. Hinckley
Site: 46 acres.
Exterior Finish: Light gray granite.
Ordinance Rooms: Two ordinance rooms (two-stage progressive) and four sealing.
Total Floor Area: 19,500 square feet.
Overlooking Lake Natoma, the Sacramento California Temple shares a large parcel of land with the "Mormon Center," a meetinghouse in the Folsom California Stake. Located off Highway 50 in Rancho Cordova, 20 miles east of Sacramento, the site was once owned by Aerojet General Corp. for use as a recreational center. During a large downsize of the company in 1971, the Church acquired the 47 acres where a chapel was built onto the existing gym and other areas converted to classrooms. It provides for numerous church activities including sand volleyball, picnics, camping, and ward group activities. The beautiful piece of property is on a hill overlooking the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The majestic oak trees surrounding the site create a serene natural setting.
The Sacramento California Temple was the seventh temple built in California, the third built in Northern California, and the second built in the Central Valley, following the Fresno California Temple (2000).
The Sacramento California Temple was originally planned as a larger (approximately 50,000-square-foot) building similar to the St. Louis Missouri Temple, but plans were modified to follow an adaptation of the design used for the Redlands California Temple and Newport Beach California Temple.
The public open house of the Sacramento California Temple was attended by 168,367 visitors.
Having made the drive to the Oakland California Temple for many years, northern Californians were elated to receive the announcement that a temple would be built in their state capital of Sacramento. Excitement turned to speculation as members awaited the announcement of a site location. Suspense was put to rest 8 months later, on Friday, December 21, 2001, when the First Presidency disclosed the Rancho Cordova site.1
Plans for Sacramento originally called for a larger temple, but those plans changed in the fall of 2002 when the decision was made to adapt the successful floor plan used for the recently constructed Redlands California Temple and Newport Beach California Temple. The change in size reduced the estimated maintenance costs to approximately 1/10 the original costs.2
On August 14, 2003, the 11-member Rancho Cordova Community Planning Advisory Council voted unanimously to recommend the county's approval of the proposed temple. Before casting his vote, council member, Frank McCarthy, expressed his support for the Church, which is willing to clean up "the ugliest stretch of Highway 50." Opponents, on the other hand, feared the adverse effects of illuminating the building at nights (5 a.m. to dawn and dusk until 11 p.m.), specifically the 131-foot spire, which the Church agreed to lower 20 feet from its originally proposed 151-foot spire. Members of the Lake Natoma Community Task Force said the spire would negatively impact views; others claimed that the lighting would attract birds, causing them to fly endlessly around the spire until possibly colliding with the building. Proponents noted that the nearby lighted Folsom Automall and the car lights along Highway 50 would far outdo the proposed lighting of the temple. Principal engineer, Brian Everett, explained that a precedent on area lighting was set when the automall was constructed. "The temple's light will not flash, blink nor glare," he said, explaining the controls that would restrict excess light. Church members pointed out the community benefits of temples, which attract visitors and increase revenues for local businesses.3
Sacramento County adopted a Negative Declaration for the Use Permit, which dimissed the requirement to prepare an Environmental Impact Report. The declaration was open for public comment during a review period that began October 24, 2003, and ended November 13, 2003. The Use Permit was a request to allow operation of the existing meetinghouse and to add the 17,500-square-foot temple, distribution center, and two caretaker residences.4
On March 22, 2004, the County of Sacramento Project Planning Commission approved the Use Permit for the temple in a unanimous 3-0 vote.5 The three Commissioners (two of the five being absent) heard extensive testimony from both proponents and opponents of the project. Arguments centered on the Commissioners' concerns over the steeple's height, mass, and lighting. County staff noted that within the county zoning ordinances, no height limit is imposed on church steeples. Satisfied that opponents did not demonstrate a basis for imposing such a limit, no change to the temple was requested. The Commissioners were similarly pleased by a photograph of the soft, nighttime lighting used by the Redlands California Temple. To ensure that the illumination would not be switched for harsher lighting in the future, however, the Commissioners asked whether the Church would agree to a maximum-illumination clause (4 foot-candles max. on the building and 9 on the steeple) as condition for approval of the Use Permit. The Church agreed. At the conclusion of discussion, the feeling among those present was that of appeasement.6
President Gordon B. Hinckley presided at the groundbreaking ceremony held on Sunday, August 22, 2004. He was joined by local LDS politicians including Congressman John Doolittle and Mayor "Rocky" Rockholm. The ceremony was broadcast via closed-circuit television to numerous meetinghouses throughout northern California.7
1. "Sacramento temple site announced," Church News 5 Jan. 2002, 29 Oct. 2002 <http://www.desnews.com/cgi-bin/libstory_church?dn02&0201070024>.
2. Kent V. Wood, "Sacramento CA temple," Email to Rick Satterfield via Paul Funk, 22 Oct. 2002.
3. Lakiesha McGhee, "Planners absolve Mormon temple," The Sacramento Bee 24 Aug. 2003, 26 Aug. 2003 <http://www.sacbee.com/content/community_news/folsom_cordova/story/7287296p-8231890c.html>.
4. County of Sacramento, Department of Environmental Review and Assessment, "Notice of Intent to Adopt a Negative Declaration," DERA 24 Oct. 2003, 3 Feb. 2004 <http://www.dera.saccounty.net/Docs/PublicNotices/active%20notices/030341NOI.pdf>.
5. County of Sacramento, Project Planning Commission, "Action Summary," Meeting Agendas: County of Sacramento, California, U.S.A 22 Mar. 2004, 25 Mar. 2004 <http://www.webagendas.saccounty.net/projectcomm/2004/Action%20Summary/projaction03-22-04.htm>.
6. Evan Eickmeyer, "Sacramento Temple news," Email to Rick Satterfield, 23 Mar. 2003.
7. Laurel Rosen, "Church breaks temple ground," The Sacramento Bee 23 Aug. 2004, 25 Aug. 2004 <http://www.sacbee.com/content/news/story/10480819p-11400174c.html>.