A public hearing on the proposed Mormon temple will continue Tuesday during the next Town Plan and Zoning commission meeting. The public hearing began during the May 23 meeting, when representatives of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints presented plans for the temple, which would replace the old Whitman restaurant building on the corner of Melrose Drive and Farmington Avenue with a 35,500 square foot temple and formal gardens spanning several acres. Members of the public will likely have the opportunity to respond to the plan and ask questions on Tuesday.
Since the May 23 meeting, church representatives also were before the Inland Wetland Watercourse and Conservation Commission and won the okay from that board. Church representatives now seek approval from the zoning commission.
In addition to approval for the special permit and site plan, the parcel on which the old Whitman building sits would have to be rezoned from commercial to residential. In Farmington, religious buildings are allowed only in residential areas.
One of the largest concerns for zoning officials when considering a proposal is traffic but the issue may not be a problem for the temple proposal. A traffic study presented to the commission May 23 states that “The actual net change in traffic volume will be essentially zero. since the existing traffic generator, 1125 Farmington Avenue, will be eliminated." That is, the Whitman building, which now houses several offices, would cease to exist and the temple would attract no more traffic than the offices currently do.
Farmington town staff agreed with the study's findings and concluded that once the proposed left-hand turn lanes on Route 4 are added, "the Temple development should have no significant impact on the street system."
The meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers downstairs at .
Here are some photos from Patch of the before it was rededicated.