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Plans scrapped for controversial Mormon chapel in Brookline

Posted by Brock Parker  April 11, 2013 12:42 PM

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The Mormon church is abandoning a long-stalled plan to build a controversial meeting house in Brookline, saying the project has proven too costly.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said the construction of underground parking for a chapel planned for 603 Boylston Street/Route 9 was greater than it had first projected.

Julie Berry, a spokeswoman for the church’s Boston Stake, which is akin to a diocese, said the church hopes to find another location in Brookline, but has been “priced out” of building on the Boylston Street location.

“We could have built several buildings for the price of building” at the Boylston street lot, Berry said.

Brookline’s Zoning Board of Appeals approved the plans for the church in April of 2010 despite objections by neighbors and some local politicians that the building would be too big.

The meeting house was to be located at Boylston Street across from the Brookline Reservoir next to several homes.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints bought the property in 2007 and had planned to build a meetinghouse on the lot, which is just over an acre, that would serve two congregations every Sunday.

The building was going to be 33 feet tall with a 72-foot steeple and have underground parking for about 150 vehicles with an entrance off Boylston Street.

Berry said the church had committed to the neighbors that it would create the underground parking, but the cost ended up being too steep.

The church will hold onto the Brookline property for now, and she said there are no other plans for it at this time.

She said the availability of property in the area will determine where the church decides to build a meetinghouse.

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