Utah Stories

Proposed Heber Valley Temple Has Some Residents Up in Arms Over Water and Light Issues

Heber Residents are concerned that the proposed LDS temple because of its size may negatively affect their environment, block their views and cause too much of light pollution.


Whether you’re LDS or non-LDS you can admire the temples around the state of Utah.

However, when proposing building an elaborate temple in a rural area many factors need to be considered.

Currently there is a proposal to build a temple in the beautiful Heber County with gorgeous mountains and the sky perfect for stargazing. The future temple is to be a 10-story structure topped with a tower rising an additional 110 feet in the air. In addition, it is to be lit up from 4:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. 

So, if this wasn’t a temple but a secular building, would you want it to be built in your neighborhood? Would you want your view of the mountain to be blocked or the constant light pollution to hide the stars?

Lisa Bahash, a co-founder of the Save Wasatch Back Dark Skies organization came on the Utah Stories podcast to discuss this issue. “We’re not against the temple, I’ll be very clear about that. We’re very supportive of a temple in the area for sure. It’s more the location, size, and scope of what’s been proposed,” Bahash said. 

Save Wasatch Back Dark Skies mission is to protect the night skies of Wasatch Back for current and future generations. The building exceeds the County’s set height restrictions by six times.  The mandates for plane traffic had to be overridden because the proposed temple is so tall, and the proposed temple blocks the views of the Wasatch mountain range. Moreover, due to its location on top of a highly vulnerable Class-1 Aquifer, it will be required to install as many as twenty dewatering pumps that could add as much as seven hundred gallons per minute flow into a creek. 

“We’ve got a lot of concerns about light pollution, the overall size and our ridgeline or view shed it’s called. So our ability to see the mountains that surround us [will be compromised and]there’s water issues and there’s traffic issues,” Bahash said. 
For more information go to Save Wasatch Back Dark Skies website.

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