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After controversy, the Cody LDS Temple is approved

Cody Planning and Zoning Board during the final meeting on the LDS temple proposal.
Penny Preston
Cody Planning and Zoning Board during the final meeting on the LDS temple proposal.

Cody’s controversial Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints temple project was finally approved on Tuesday after four city Planning and Zoning meetings to consider it.

Hundreds of people attended each meeting from the middle of June until August 8. Dozens of people spoke out for and against the construction of the temple with a one hundred foot lighted tower.

But LDS church representatives presented compromises Tuesday, including limiting the hours the outside lights are on. Originally, the lights were going to be on at all times.

The temple construction is planned for a neighborhood near the western end of Cody. People who live nearby said the 100 foot lighted tower would block their view of the night sky.

At the last meeting, church representatives said they could turn off the tower lights from 1 a.m. until 5 a.m., but at the August meeting, church officials suggested they could turn off the tower lights from 11 p.m. until 5 a.m. each day, and might reduce the tower height from 100 feet to 85 feet.

After three votes, the board finally approved the plan, but not all of it. LDS church member Luke Hopkin explained the final vote allows the church to decide on the tower height.

“The final vote included mitigations that had been talked about, such as lighting, but it removed the language related to the height of the steeple, which had been proposed to be reduced to 85 feet,” Hopkins said.

Hopkin said the construction can begin as soon as the city issues a building permit. Planning and Zoning board members commented they’ve received hundreds of emails about the project. Those against the temple didn't comment on the approval.

When Penny Preston came to Cody, Wyoming, in 1998, she was already an award winning broadcast journalist, with big market experience. She had anchored in Dallas, Denver, Nashville, Tulsa, and Fayetteville. She’s been a news director in Dallas and Cody, and a bureau chief in Fayetteville, AR. She’s won statewide awards for her television and radio stories in Arkansas, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, and Wyoming. Her stories also air on CBS, NBC, NBC Today Show, and CNN network news.
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