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Vote on Hindu temple in west Forsyth delayed a month

POSTED: June 28, 2014 12:04 a.m.
 

WEST FORSYTH — Advocates for building a Hindu temple in western Forsyth County will have to wait a little longer.

Instead of voting on Chinmaya Mission of Alpharetta’s request to build a temple off Pittman Road in District 3, planning board members decided to hold off for another month so all parties could come together on an agreement.

“This time would be for us to have conversations with both sides,” said board member Greg Dolezal.

Chinmaya wants to build and operate a temple on nearly 10.7 acres, adding to an existing 9,573-square-foot building for a total of up to 60,000 square feet.

Plans call for a large assembly hall, with seating capacity of about 1,020, said Stuart Teague, attorney for Chinmaya. Also included would be dining and kitchen facilities, priest quarters, shrine, administrative offices, library, storage and rooms for Sunday school classes, meetings, seminars, yoga and meditation.

According to the mission’s application, the temple’s programs “are designed to impact good values to all ages.”

“Our goal is that the learning and programs our members are exposed to helps them be positive contributors to society and the communities in which we live,” the application states.

Teague said the county’s Hindu population is growing, creating “a demand for the temple in Forsyth County.”

However Kris Darnell, president of the Polo Fields Homeowners Association, said “an expansion of this size is clearly out of scope for this area.”

Darnell said the 1,070 homes in the association would be greatly impacted by the heavy increase in traffic. He expressed concerns that classes would also be held on Saturdays and Sundays. There is also the possibility of fireworks during certain Indian festivals, in addition to July Fourth and New Year’s Eve.

Teague countered that traffic and attendance would be handled “in a way that doesn’t interfere with the area,” saying the addition of the temple “will make the county richer.”

Dolezal’s recommendation to postpone the decision until July 29 was approved 4-0 with Chairwoman Pam Bowman absent.

 

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