Hindu Temple Expansion Sparks Controversy

January 29, 2004

Source: Queens Chronicle


On January 29, 2004 the Queens Chronicle reported that "longtime Holliswood residents squared off against the Hindu congregation of the Vaishnav Temple of New York on Monday night, with both sides offering impassioned testimonies before Community Board 8’s Land Use Committee on the temple’s proposed expansion. Nearly 50 devotees of the temple were on hand for the public hearing, which was the first step in the temple’s application for a special permit to expand its current facility to occupy a floor-area-ratio of 0.97. While normal zoning in the neighborhood’s R1-2 zone limits F.A.R. to 0.5, community facilities law allows it to go up to 1.0. The temple, which has occupied the building at 196-43 Foothill Avenue since 1988, is the first traditional 'Pushtimargiya' temple in North America. Vaishnavas follow the god Vishnu. In addition to the institution’s religious activities, it offers a senior citizen center, a youth committee, health fairs, natural disaster relief efforts and computer, Gujaranti language and yoga classes."