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Mormon church drops Brookline building plan

The Mormon church is abandoning a long-stalled plan to build a meetinghouse in Brookline that it said has proven too costly.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said the cost of constructing underground parking for a meetinghouse at 603 Boylston St./Route 9 would be higher than first projected.

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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 it has been “priced out” of building at the Boylston Street site.

“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 in April 2010 despite objections from neighbors and some local politicians that the building would be too big. The meetinghouse was to be located across from the Brookline Reservoir and next to several residences.

The church purchased the property in 2007 and had planned to build a meetinghouse that would serve two congregations on Sundays.

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

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

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

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

Brock Parker can be reached at brock.globe@gmail.com.
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