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Hindu center approved in west Forsyth
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Forsyth County News

WEST FORSYTH — In a vote previously delayed two weeks, a proposed Hindu worship and educational center was approved Thursday night for an 11-acre site in west Forsyth.

Chinmaya Mission of Alpharetta’s request had previously cleared the local planning board with a list of 15 conditions before making its way to the county commission Aug. 21.

Chinmaya sought to operate a religious place of worship and priest residence in an existing building that is about 10,000 square feet off Pittman Road.

The group also sought to build several additional buildings that would bring the project to about 60,000 square feet with some 300 paved parking spaces.

However, the planning board’s recommendations capped the square footage of facilities at 25,000 square feet.  

Commissioner Todd Levent, who represents District 3, in which the site is located, made a motion Thursday to approve the application, but to change the size to 20,000 square feet. It, as well as a revised motion to cap the size at 25,000 square feet, died for lack of a second.

Levent said he had received “hundreds of emails” from residents of the area who are concerned about the facility’s size, thus his reasoning for attempting to lower it.

Levent noted that most of the emails asked the commission to “just keep it at a reasonable size so it doesn’t destroy our quality of life.”

After Levent’s efforts, Commissioner Cindy Mills made a motion to approve but increase the size to 35,000 square feet.

That motion passed 3-2 with Levent and Commissioner Brian Tam opposed.

Some of the other conditions placed on the project include limiting the parking to just 255 paved spots, with additional parking on pervious surfaces but not Pittman.

Also, the applicant must provide an officer for traffic enforcement at the end of a full school session.

In addition, the developer must dedicate one left turn lane on Pittman and a right turn lane at each entrance to the facility.

The conditions also limit deliveries and garbage pickup to daytime hours, and fireworks displays to four per year.

Other conditions placed on the project include a list of uses that will not be permitted on the property, including manufactured homes, open-air businesses, personal care homes, public and semi-public buildings, food service establishments and livestock or poultry farming, among others.