After Delays, Proposal for Sikh Temple to Go Before Zoning Board

June 20, 2006

Source: Gloucester County Times

On June 20, 2006 Gloucester County Times reported, "After several postponements, plans for a Sikh temple on Fox Run Road are again scheduled to be presented to the township planning board. The Guru Nanak Sikh Society of the Delaware Valley hopes to build a two-story, 27,150-square-foot temple and a separate priest's residence of approximately 2,310 square feet. The group's current temple is located on Delsea Drive. The society -- which practices a monotheistic religion founded in the 15th century in the Punjab region of Pakistan and India -- purchased the 10-acre parcel in 2002 for $200,000, according to property records. Last year, a hearing on the application was delayed because of missing information, including a revised environmental report and aerial maps. While the plans have fielded some protests, Harjinder Singh, a member of the society, suggested that the surrounding community is largely supportive of the proposed temple. According to local zoning laws, a church or place of worship can be built on the site -- a one-time pig farm -- as long as it is compatible with the surrounding neighborhood. If the temple receives municipal approvals, it could be completed within one year to 18 months, according to Singh, who added that several factors could change that estimate. The society had planned to spend $2.5 million on the construction, but Singh said they are bracing for increased costs. "