Neighbors Fight Proposed Hindu Temple

April 21, 2008

Author: Colette M. Jenkins

Source: Beacon Journal

Mayor Michael Lyons is hoping for an amenable resolution to the controversy over the proposed construction of a Hindu temple in the village.

''This is a very polarizing kind of thing that leads to the insertion of issues (like bigotry) that have nothing to do with whether the proposal meets our code,'' Lyons said. ''I certainly hope that there can be a place where there is something that can work for everyone.''

At issue is the pending vote on the final plans for the proposed 3,772-square-foot Sree Venkateswara Temple of Cleveland on seven acres at 4406 Brecksville Road. The Richfield Planning and Zoning Commission could act on the plans as early as Tuesday, its next meeting, according to Roger D. Swan, planning and zoning director.

The commission approved preliminary plans for the temple on Nov. 27. Its decision was officially recorded on Dec. 11.

Nine days later, Concerned Richfield Homeowners, a group of local residents who oppose construction of the temple, asked Summit County Common Pleas Court to review the commission's action.

The court has granted a stay, prohibiting the commission from granting any zoning permits for the temple pending a hearing before Judge Patricia Cosgrove. That means that if the commission approves the final plans on Tuesday, the village cannot immediately issue a zoning permit.