Deptford Sikhs to Go Before Planning Board With Gurdwara Proposal

July 10, 2006

Source: CourierPost

On July 10, 2006 CourierPost reported, "A local group of Sikhs will formally seek the planning board's approval to build a larger house of worship on a wooded, 18-acre property set back from Fox Run Road. The Guru Nanak Sikh Society of Delaware Valley will appear before the board Wednesday, for the first time since a preliminary site plan for a 20,000-square-foot gurdwara was filed about one year ago. The reason for the unusually lengthy delay was not immediately clear. David Hodulik, an attorney for the Sikhs, declined to comment Monday. Calls to Harjinder Singh, a trustee, were not immediately returned. Holly Glaze-Donahue, a staunch opponent who plans to speak out against the project, said she expects a large turnout at Wednesday's hearing from residents along Fox Run Road and other parts of Deptford. Neighbors say the property is better left as open space or used for dirt bike racing and other forms of active recreation. Revised plans feature a 7,700-square-foot prayer hall with 6,500-square-feet of classroom space on the second floor. The plan calls for 152 parking spaces, which slightly exceeds the required amount, according to the site plan. There would be landscaping in front of the building, a covered entry and ramp for disabled persons. Plans call for construction of two dwelling units and a soccer field and running track at the rear of the property. Whether the gurdwara would be compatible with the immediate area and whether it would generate burdensome levels of traffic and noise or threaten public health and safety would weigh heavily into the board's decision."