The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has filed a second lawsuit against the City of Cody’s Planning, Zoning, and Adjustment Board related to the proposed temple project. The petition was filed with the Park County District Court on July 27 by the Church’s attorney, Kendal Hoopes from Sheridan, Wyoming.
In this motion, the Church is requesting judicial review of the Planning, Zoning and Adjusting Board’s June 15 meeting and the June 27 meeting. 
The items the LDS Church would like reviewed are as follows:
- Whether the proposed Temple complies with applicable zoning ordinances pertaining to maximum building height and maximum number of stories.
- Whether the Board had power and authority on June 27, 2023 to reconsider the Conditional Use Permit (CUP) and findings that had previously been approved by the Board on June 15, 2023.
- Whether the Board had power and authority on June 27, 2023 to modify
and add a condition to the findings it had made with respect to the CUP during the special meeting held on June 15, 2023.
- Whether the Board had power and authority on June 27, 2023 to reconsider and table the Site Plan, which had previously been approved on June 15, 2023.
According to the document submitted by Hoopes, the Church is pursuing Civil Action against the Board claiming that “the Board was in error” with the above mentioned items. This lawsuit is the second lawsuit filed by the Mormon Church. The Preserve Our Cody Neighborhoods group from Cody also filed a motion to “intervene” in the previous lawsuit filed by the Church. It is unknown at this time if the Group, who is opposed to the development of the temple in the proposed area of an established residential area, will file another motion to intervene with the second lawsuit that has been filed by the LDS Church.
At the Cody Temple open house held June 6, LDS director of media relations from Salt Lake City, Doug Andersen, let the visitors of the community outreach event know that the Church was willing to find a solution that made both the Church and community happy. Andersen also let people know that the Church would abide by any decisions made by Cody’s Planning, Zoning and Adjustment Board.
“Really and truly, I’m glad they care about their community,” Andersen said of those concerned about the temple. “It would be worse if they said, ‘I don’t care. Build whatever you want.’ For them to say, ‘I care about this beautiful (city)’ … that’s great because it shows they care about Cody.”
Andersen also said, “It doesn’t mean that we’re going to agree. It means that we’re going to work together as a community. Every voice matters –- not this one or that one, but all of them.”
In a recent statement from the Preserve Our Cody Neighborhoods group, they addressed Andersen’s previous statements in light of the previous lawsuit filing.
“This is precisely the opposite of what Doug Anderson, LDS director of media relations from Salt Lake City, said during their open house on June 6, 2023,” said the Group.
There has been no comment made by members of the City of Cody Planning, Zoning and Adjustment Board or City Attorney Scott Kolpitcke. The Board has not announced yet when their next Special Meeting to discuss the Site Plan is. The Board’s next Regular Meeting, held bi-weekly is anticipated to be held on August 8, but it is unknown if they will discuss anything related to the proposed temple project.
For questions about the proposed temple or upcoming Board meetings, please contact the City of Cody Office.
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