The West Linn Planning Commission voted 4-0 last week to approve a building application by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The vote will allow the church to build a 16,558-square-foot chapel with 179 parking spaces in the Rosemont Summitt Neighborhood near Rosemont Road and Shannon Lane. Access to the church will be from Rosemont, and Miles Drive will be turned into a cul-de-sac. A landscaped brick wall will also act as a buffer, blocking a view of the church from Shannon Lane.

Commissioners Gary Hitesman, Michael Bonoff, Michael Babbitt and Paul Fisher were the voting members of the planning commission Nov. 30, when the vote on the church was taken.

Commissioner Gary Stark and Commission Chairman John Kovash were absent. Commissioner Michael Jones, as acting chair, did not vote.

'The church made a number of very constructive and meaningful changes (to their original application),' said Bonoff, explaining why he voted in favor of the application despite initially expressing reservations about the project.

'One thing that was clear in this whole proceeding was the church extended considerable effort, and they made a very meaningful and sincere effort to meet community needs,' Bonoff said.

The application was approved with 11 conditions, which require the church to pay a traffic impact fee of $75,000 to the city, and to not overlap church congregation meetings.

The church will also allow visitors to Oppenlander Fields to park Monday through Friday in the church's parking lot.

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