Church to propose 16-story spire to town of Fairview committee


“We want them to get their church. They’re just not allowed to build it at the size they’re trying to build it,” said Fredrickson.

FAIRVIEW, Texas — A new proposed temple in Fairview is the talk of the town. 

The Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints has proposed to build a large temple next to an existing church off Stacy Road. The McKinney Texas Temple is one of eight other worship buildings in operation, announced, or under construction, in the state of Texas.

A number of residents from the surrounding residential communities are bracing for a fight over the size of a temple for the Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints. Last week, the Church held an open house and invited residents and media to discuss the project.

“It’s just a good-faith effort to be able to share details about our project, listen to their concerns, and have them ask questions,” said Church spokeswoman Melissa McKneely.

But, some of the residents who spoke with WFAA did not get a warm feeling from the open house meeting. 

They tell WFAA they were ushered into a gym and their movements and speech throughout the facility were ‘controlled’ by organizers. Community members wore green shirts that read “Fairview United” and the words “Keeping it Country and not an inch more.”

“They should not be given not an inch more than the ordinance,” said Inga Fredrickson of Fairview United.

The Church’s spire is what is drawing the ire. It is proposed to be 173 feet and 8 inches tall and it is proposed to be built right next to their existing church.

“It doesn’t blend in with the landscape. It’s obnoxious. It’s inconsiderate. It’s inappropriate,” said Fredrickson.

The 16-story spire would make it the tallest structure in Fairview, as tall as its water tower. There is currently no town ordinance that accommodates a structure at that height. The Church tells WFAA that they have satisfied every other town guideline as it relates to property.

“The spire and the temple are very significant to us religiously, and the spire is a representation of something reaching up to the heavens and it helps us look to heaven and God,” said McKneely.

Residents tell WFAA that an attorney for the Church spoke with residents and justified the church’s plans by citing constitutional religious freedoms. WFAA could not independently verify comments made at the meeting.

“We want them to get their church. They’re just not allowed to build it at the size they’re trying to build it,” said Fredrickson.

The town’s planning and zoning committee will take up the issue Thursday evening. The town council will likely take up the issue soon after that.

“Exceptions have been made for churches in the past and we hope that an exception will be made for us to have a house of worship here,” said McKneely.

Also at issue are traffic and crowds. The Church says it has already made concessions on lighting of the temple due to the town’s Dark Sky Ordinances. The Church tells WFAA the temple is not a place for mass gatherings. McKneely tells WFAA that at any one time, there will be 30 to 40 people present at the temple.

The residents say they will continue to fight to keep Fairview their small town. 

The Church says they’re simply building a place of worship. If approved, the McKinney Texas Temple will be the largest temple in the state of Texas.

“I hope that we will be seen as good neighbors,” said the Church.

If plans are approved by the town, the Church will begin the three-year construction of the temple by the end of this year or early next year.

(Note: This video was published April 23)