Neighbors Plan to Appeal Sikh Temple Expansion

November 19, 2008

Author: Tom Lochner

Source: Contra Costa Times

Neighbors of El Sobrante's Sikh temple have vowed to appeal a Contra Costa County Planning Commission ruling endorsing an expansion of the temple to more than four times its present size.

Gurdwara Sahib, the Sikh Center of San Francisco Bay Area, plans to build a community center, performing arts center, museum and parking garage on its 6.5 acre property off Hillcrest Road in unincorporated El Sobrante.

The expansion would add about 70,000 square feet, not counting the garage, to the existing temple's roughly 22,000 square feet.

Temple leaders have said the temple needs to expand to maintain its role as a regional center of Sikh scholarship and worship and to increase its involvement in mainstream civic and charitable causes.

Opponents have said the expansion is out of scale with the temple's surroundings and disproportionate to its needs.