Proposed Hindu Temple Upsets Neighbors

June 8, 2007

Author: Edythe Jensen

Source: The Arizona Republic

A group of Valley Hindus who want to build a traditional-style temple in central Chandler have cleared their first hurdle.

The Planning and Zoning Commission voted 4-1 to recommend approval for a special use permit to build the SVK Religious and Cultural Center on the southwestern corner of Dobson Road and Galveston Street. The plot is a former mini-farm and is across the street from a Mormon church.

The decision came after a record-setting hearing and more than 50 people weighing in on both sides. The City Council has the final say on June 28.

The Hindus, most who came to the Valley from India, promised to be good neighbors. Many who live near the site, some in million-dollar homes on large lots, said the temple design and busy use doesn't fit the area and vowed to take their fight to court if necessary.

It's not about race, culture or religion, neighbors insisted. They just don't want a Hindu temple next to their Chandler homes.

See also: Civic, Zoning