Expansion Approved for Sikh Temple

March 30, 2007

Author: Russell Clemings

Source: The Fresno Bee


A Sikh temple north of Fowler won approval Thursday for a major expansion in a case filled with cultural and religious overtones for the diverse central San Joaquin Valley.

The Gurdwara Gur Nanak Parkash Fresno occupies 13.5 acres west of Highway 99 at Lincoln Avenue. It wants to triple its floor space and landscape its grounds.

In the process, it wants to add a series of domes rising from 37 to 48 feet from the ground, and a flagpole reaching 95 feet. So the Fresno County Planning Commission was asked whether to allow the temple to exceed the usual 35-foot height limit for its zoning.

Commissioners easily agreed to the domes but were divided on the flagpole, which the temple's representative, Fresno planning consultant Bill Robinson, said was designed as a beacon to drivers on the adjacent freeway.

"What we'd like to do is have that flagpole at that height so it's visible from both sides of 99," Robinson said.