Church leaders are withdrawing their plan to build a residential community around the proposed Tooele Valley Temple, according to a statement released this afternoon.

“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,” the First Presidency said in a statement. “There is a sincere desire on the part of the Church to avoid discord in the community. 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. We look forward to working with local officials and community members to determine next steps to move forward with the construction of the temple. We hope those from all viewpoints on this matter will treat one another with kindness, civility, and Christlike love.” 

The decision was made after a number of residents raised concerns about the density of the proposal around it. They launched a petition that would require the issue to be determined by a referendum. While the Tooele City Council hasn’t certified the signatures yet, according to the opposing residents, the petition has enough support to trigger the referendum if all signatures are legitimate.

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