Hindu Temple Coming to Sugar Hill

October 11, 2006

Author: Christy Smith

Source: Gwinnett Daily Post


After five years of holding services inside Norcross’ Global Mall, Hindu Temple Shiv Mandir will have a home in Sugar Hill. The temple’s 11.34 acres on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard is half paid for. Contractors are ready to start building the 40,000-square-foot temple with about 250 parking spaces. However, 22 of those proposed parking spaces would encroach within 37 feet of Level Creek in three places. Sugar Hill requires a 50-foot setback from streams. City Councilmen tabled until November the congregation’s request for a variance that would allow those extra parking spaces to be built 13 feet inside the buffer. Part of the driveway would also slip 25 feet inside the required 75-foot privacy buffer that shelters Parkview subdivision from the temple. For several years, developer Dick Myrick fought for the right to build a three-story apartment complex on the site. The legal battle was settled in July, and the property sold to the temple’s congregation. “The buffer zones are here to protect our drinking water,” said Henry Leach. Betty Lemmons, into whose house the temple’s lights would shine, argued that councilmen shouldn’t back down from their own regulations. “Why invoke laws if you back down so easily?” Lemmons asked. “We need to stand by our easements and rules.”