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Mormons propose new facility in Forest Grove

A subdivision just west of Forest Grove High School could become the new home of a regional center for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Representatives of the Mormon church were expected to present their plans to the Forest Grove Planning Commission Tuesday evening, after the News-Times deadline.

According to materials submitted to the planning department, the church has purchased 46 vacant lots at the east end of The Parks at Forest Grove subdivision.

The church plans to use 36 of those parcels for a 25,000-square-foot building and adjacent 302-space parking lot on the east side of Brooke Street, just north of where David Hill Road now dead-ends.

The remaining 10 parcels would be retained as residential lots, but would be reconfigured to accommodate the church building.

The building, known as a Stake Center, would be used for Sunday services for three individual LDS congregations, or wards, which could draw up to 200 attendees. In addition, the center would host twice-a-year Sunday stake meetings, which could bring in crowds of up to 800.

A traffic-impact study conducted for the city determined that even on the two Sundays when stake meetings are held, traffic levels would be within acceptable limits. City staffers have suggested church officials come up with a traffic-control plan for such events.

If the planning commission approves the church's conditional-use permit Tuesday, the matter will move to the Forest Grove City Council on Jan. 28. Councilors will have to approve the request to vacate several platted streets in the development to make way for the church project.