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Height variance approved for temple in Philadelphia

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__IMAGE1__PHILADELPHIA — Plans to build the first Mormon temple in

Pennsylvania are moving forward.A Philadelphia City Council

committee on Wednesday, May 12, approved a height variance for the $70 million

project slated for downtown.Other city approvals are still

needed. But a regional spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of

Latter-day Saints says they hope to break ground by the end of the year.Spokesman

Ahmad Corbitt says the church has about 40,000 members in

the area. Members attend weekly worship services at smaller chapels but

will use the temple for special rites and sacraments.The closest

temples now are in New York and suburban Washington, D.C.Corbitt

says the church hopes to open the Philadelphia temple by 2013.

More on the proposed temple in Philadelphia:Philadelphia Business Journal: Mormon temple hops hurdleKSCG Television: Plans to build the Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple move ahead