Harrison New York Temple
The Harrison New York Temple is the 129th announced temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The announcement to build a Mormon temple in Harrison, New York came in September 1995. The site chosen for the temple is located on the corner of Kenilworth Road and Westchester Avenue on 24 wooded acres. The Harrison Temple will be the third temple in the state of New York, the other two being in Palmyra and Manhattan.
After eleven years, during which time the other two New York temples were announced and completed, construction has yet to begin. A concern from the Harrison Town Board over the height of the temple was the original concern. Zoning laws prohibited any building from being higher than 30 feet; the Mormon Temple was designed to be 44-feet high. Other concerns arose from the Harrison Town Board and have caused delays, wherein, it has ended with Church lawyers and Board members compromising.
The original plans for the Mormon Temple included a 97,000 square foot building, seating for 200, 198 parking places, 44.7 foot high building, a steeple 115 feet high, and additional structures. After a day-long meeting, an agreement was finally met, with the following compromises and stipulations made by the Mormon Church and the Harrison Town Board: 28,400 square foot temple, 100 seats in the temple, 100 parking spaces, a 34-foot high building and a steeple that would be 105 feet. In addition, the Mormon Church agreed not to build any additional structures on the property for 15 years after the temple was officially opened.
However, on September 22, 2000, just a week before the Harrison decision, President Bill Clinton signed into law the "Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act." This law forbids local governments from using regulations on land use to place unnecessary burdens on the exercise of religion without a vested government interest. At this writing (June 2006) the Mormon Church has not pursued any further action.
The Mormon "Church is waiting for the right time to build. That directive will come from the president of the Church [Gordon B. Hinckley]."
- Gary Stern, "Mormons show temple in NYC," The Journal News, 4 May 2004