The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints last week filed preliminary plans to construct a temple near the intersection of Staples Mill and Mountain roads in Henrico County – its first temple in Virginia.
Plans call for an 11-acre wooded lot at 10915 Staples Mill Road to be scrapped to make way for a two-story, 36,200-square-foot temple and an adjacent 16,200-square-foot meeting house. A small maintenance building also is proposed for the site, while an existing two-story residence at 4151 Mountain Road would remain.
The site will not require rezoning.
Plans call for a large steeple capped with a golden statue of Mormon religious figure Angel Moroni, which will sit nearly 151 feet tall on the site.
The project would include extensive landscaping and more than 240 parking spaces throughout the property.
The planning documents don’t have a construction timeline or a groundbreaking date for the project.
John Stoddard, who is listed as the project manager for the Virginia temple, did not return multiple calls and an email for comment Tuesday afternoon.
Richmond-based Austin Brockenbrough & Associates is listed as the temple’s civil engineer. Salt Lake City-based Richardson Design Partnership, which has designed several temples for the church on the West Coast and in Japan, has been retained as the architect.
During their annual conference in April 2018, church leaders announced the Henrico temple would be built.
The closest temples for practicing Richmond-area Latter-day Saints, also known as Mormons, are more than two hours away in Kensington, Maryland, near Washington, D.C., and Apex, North Carolina, outside of Raleigh.
Beginning in 2017, church leaders quietly assembled the collection of three parcels along Staples Mill and Mountain roads for about $2.3 million, according to county property records. That includes an 8.1-acre parcel purchased from Marchetti Properties that will be home for the temple and meeting house.
The county assessed the combined properties at about $1.44 million.
Church leaders estimate that Virginia is home to about 100,000 members – making it one of the states with the largest populations of Mormons without a temple.