Gwinnett County Commissioners Reject Plans for Hindu Temple

June 28, 2006

Source: Gwinnett Daily Post

On June 28, 2006 Gwinnett Daily Post reported, "Gwinnett County commissioners nixed plans for a Hindu temple near Lilburn Tuesday night. They said the marble-and-stone structure topped by domes and spires would not mesh with the surrounding area, and that it would be too intense of a use for the 4 acres at Lawrenceville Highway and Braden Drive. In a bid to gain the commission�s approval, the Hindu congregation had offered to shrink the ornate temple from 13,200 square feet to 10,000 square feet, and altogether drop an activity center from its plans... Nearby residents asked commissioners to block the ornate temple. They said it would be out of character with their quiet subdivisions and cause traffic problems... Although the spires on top of the domes would reach 67 feet into the air, the building itself would be about 35 feet tall, Suhagia said. And despite being designed for 200 worshipers, it would only serve about 25 people in the beginning, he said. Commissioner Bert Nasuti... said... the temple would eventually affect residents. 'I've never seen a church or religious facility that doesn't want to grow,' said the commissioner... [T]he Hindu sect was asking the county to change rules placed on the land in 2004 when it was rezoned with a day care in mind. The rules mandate any building be made of brick and glass, and prohibit the marble and stone blocks that would been shipped from India for use in making the temple. The glass-and-brick building requirement was established during the 2004 rezoning at the behest of area residents, who wanted to ensure whatever went on the land fit with existing buildings. The Hindu congregation also needed a tall structure permit so it could build the domes. Afterward some members seemed crestfallen, but the group's president, Mansukh Dhanani, was optimistic that it would find another location in Gwinnett County... Behind him a man had walked up to Suhagia and was telling him he had land for sale in Gwinnett that would be a good spot for a temple."