LDS Church scales down development plan at Thanksgiving Point based on community feedback

Posted at 9:51 PM, Nov 11, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-11 23:51:09-05

LEHI, Utah -- The driving range at Thanksgiving Point is one step closer to being torn out and developed, but the details of what will go in its place are changing.

"We have listened to your concerns," said a representative from the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during a community meeting on Wednesday night.

Initial plans called for two, four-story, 120,000 square foot office buildings for the LDS Church. One would house a Family Discovery Center and the software engineers building for Family Search for the church. The other office building would be leased out for a profit.

That plan has been scrapped, in part, because of neighbors complaining that it was destroying their community. Instead, the LDS Church is proposing to build just one office building, housing family search, and in the place of the second office building from the original plans, a stake center--which is a meetinghouse for LDS Church members.

"I think they've done a pretty good job. I think most of the neighborhood is pretty supportive of what they've done," said Paul Ross, a neighbor who has been following the development plans since July.

Jared Asbury, another neighbor, is a bit more skeptical. Asbury is satisfied that the LDS Church is now within the city's development guidelines, but he thinks the architecture of the building needs to better match the Thanksgiving Point area.

While aesthetics are debated, everyone agrees traffic is an issue.

"We realize that the two intersections that currently are failing need to be solved before any further development can take place," said David Paul Jr., an architect for the LDS Church.

He also said the LDS Church will work with the city on improving infrastructure but stopped short of promising to pay for the improvements.

"They have expressed their desire to merely work with the city as opposed to pony up the money and the manpower to improve the infrastructure of their project," Asbury said. "They're going to build what they can get away with building."

Representatives for the LDS Church say they will build as soon as the project is permitted, saying construction likely wouldn't start until after the winter.