This is shortsighted for residents. It will be developed eventually. The church has an interest in having a nice development around the temple. The Church will do a better job than most private developers because their primary motive is not profit. If the church were to sell the land it would be developed more densely. If the residents want less density, they should hope the Church develops the property rather than selling it. In my community, the Church sold vacant land surrounding my chapel to a private developer which filled in as densely as the city would allow.