Board Wary of Temple's Parking Accommodations

February 1, 2007

Author: Chris Gaetano

Source: Sentinel

SOUTH BRUNSWICK - The township Zoning Board continued to deliberate on a Hindu temple proposed for Route 27 in Kendall Park during the Jan. 25 meeting.

The temple is being proposed by an organization called Bharat Sevashram Sangha of North America, which is described by the applicant's attorney, Rosalind Westlake, as "a form of very traditional Hinduism." If approved, it would be the only temple for that particular sect in all of New Jersey. At the moment, a single house, where the monks live, sits on the parcel of land where the temple would be.

According to the applicant's engineer, Julia Algeo, the temple will occupy 6,904 square feet in total, with a total capacity of 150 people. There will be 59 parking spaces and a stormwater basin toward the front edge of the property. According to Westlake, the temple will have a main floor for religious services, a mezzanine above that would have classrooms, and a 5,000-square-foot basement that would have a kitchen and bathrooms.

Hearings for the application began during the zoning board's Jan. 11 meeting, but because it was very late at night, it was decided that they would continue discussion during the Jan. 25 meeting. During this meeting, the board heard testimony from the applicant's engineer and traffic engineer, as well as from Swami Amarnath Ananda, who answered questions on the temple's potential comings and goings.