A previously defeated proposal to build 244 housing units next to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints temple in Langley Township won approval on a second vote Monday night (Jan. 13).
When the Qualico project was put to a vote Dec. 16, concerns about its impact on temple parking produced a split council and a 4-4 tie vote that saw the development defeated.
Church elders had objected to the plan to build higher-density housing next to the Mormon temple at the corner of 82 Avenue and 204 Street, saying it could create problems with people using the temple parking lot.
They suggested single family homes would be preferable near the 28,165 square-foot temple.
At the time of the tie vote, Councillor Bev Dornan was absent from council on a family matter.
Under procedural rules that allow for reconsideration, the measure came back for another vote with Dornan present.
This time, the project passed with a 6-3 vote, with Dornan one of the supporters.
Councillor Grant Ward, who opposed the project in December, changed his vote to yes.
After the meeting, he told The Times he changed his mind after speaking with staff and the developer about altering the design to shift to single-family homes near the temple.
“It wasn’t practically doable,” Ward said. “It was a misunderstanding on my part.”
The Langley temple, dedicated in May, 2010, was at the time the seventh built in Canada by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
It serves 22,000 Mormons from 91 congregations throughout B.C. and northern Washington.
The temple, which is not open to non-members, is reserved for the sacraments of the Mormon church such as baptism and marriage.
Mormons have been in B.C. since 1875, but until the Langley temple was built, they had to travel to Seattle or Cardston, Alta. for temple services and sacraments.
Details of the Langley temple construction can be viewed on Facebook at “Vancouver LDS Temple.”