I am writing to express my excitement for the new Tooele Valley temple project. For almost 17 years I have lived in Erda, adjacent to the church farm property which is the site for the temple. I realize that this makes me a newcomer by many standards, but nevertheless I have lived in Erda long enough to see a lot of changes. When I first moved to Erda, a car on the road in front of our house in the middle of the day was exciting. My kids longed for more neighbors with young children. Now we have many new families in our neighborhood with lots of young children, regular traffic, and more changes to come.
I have made a point of visiting temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints whenever I am near one, in many cities around the world. I have never seen a temple or temple grounds that were untidy or rundown. In every case the temple was a beautiful oasis of serenity. I might add that in my experience, property values around the temple are only increased by its presence. In my opinion, the size of the home or the size of the building lot has no direct relationship to the amount of pride a homeowner displays in their property. I have seen many small homes and small yards that are immaculate and well-cared for. Conversely, I live on a one-acre lot and struggle to keep up with its maintenance. I am grateful that the neighborhood around the temple will appeal to people in many different stages of life—empty-nesters and young families alike. I am especially appreciative that the plans for the new development show open space buffer zones and larger lots around existing homes, like my own.
I know that some of my Erda neighbors are concerned that the development around the temple threatens the rural Erda lifestyle we all enjoy. I understand their concern, and I will definitely concede that there will be more traffic, and noise, and people. When Excelsior Academy was built in my neighborhood several years ago, and my street became a thoroughfare for parents driving their children to and from school, I did notice an increase in traffic, noise, and people. Although my children have never attended Excelsior, and I have had no direct benefit from the school’s location, I know that many of my neighbors in Erda and Tooele County love Excelsior and are grateful that this excellent school is located close by. Because I know they love their school and the good that it does for their children, I am happy to have the school as a neighbor. And my attitude about the traffic has improved because I know the staff works hard at controlling traffic as best they can. I feel that the school is a “greater good” for my neighborhood and I feel certain the temple will be also.
One of the things that attracted my family to Erda many years ago was the great location, with proximity to Tooele, Stansbury Park, and Salt Lake City. Undoubtedly many of the people that have purchased homes in Erda in the last 20 years were also drawn by this location at the center of so many wonderful communities. As much as I would like to keep Erda a secret from the rest of the world, I think that ship has sailed! I confess that I am part of the growth problem, having moved to Erda in the last 20 years, and I have no regrets. I am grateful for the warm and inclusive neighbors that reached out to me and my family of outsiders and made us feel at home. I look forward to welcoming new neighbors and a beautiful new temple.