Deptford Gurdwara Proposal Approved by Planning Board

July 13, 2006

Source: Courier-Post

On July 13, 2006 Courier-Post reported, "Despite objections from some residents, the planning board unanimously approved a proposal for the construction of a Sikh house of worship on Fox Run Road... Dave Barger, an architect for the project, said groundbreaking would be late next year. He said it would take about 12 months to complete the project. Holly Glaze-Donahue, an opponent of the project, said she planned to appeal the decision. About 40 people attended the meeting. 'It doesn't belong in this town,' she said. 'We're still trying to find the facts about the Indian burial ground (on the site).' Some residents were hoping that rumors of a Native American burial site on the property would halt plans for the gurdwara, a Sikh house of worship. Township administrator William Saunders dismissed the allegation as rumor. Fox Run Road residents have said that they want the wooded, 18-acre site, once a pig farm, left as open space. A traffic engineer's report prepared for the applicant, the Guru Nanak Society of Delaware Valley, concluded that the proposed facility would have minimal impact on traffic, meaning waits for all turns would be no more than 20 seconds. [Some residents disagree with that assessment.] Deptford Township High School sits on Fox Run Road and there are a few scattered homes amid horse farms and wooded tracts in the area. The Guru Nanak Society wants to build a 20,000-square-foot building topped by three small domes. Trustees representing the Sikhs said their current facility is cramped and they need more meeting space... The gurdwara would feature a prayer hall and dining hall on ground level, 6,500 square feet of classroom space on the second floor, plus a covered entry and ramp for the disabled. A priest's house would also be built on the site."