New Sikh temple wins OK in Live Oak
A proposed new Sikh temple in Live Oak won unanimous approval on Thursday by the planning commissioners meeting in front of a standing-room-only group of project supporters.
Commissioner Joe Griffin called the proposal "a plus for the city."
"I think we can go with it," he said before the vote.
Denis Cook, planning consultant for Live Oak, called the building proposal a high-quality project.
"We feel it would be a compliment to the community," he said.
The 28,780-square-foot Sikh temple with up to 300 parking spaces will be next to Larkin Road and Nevada Street just north of the Landmark Missionary Baptist Church.
It will be the fourth Sikh temple in Sutter County, said Gurman Singh Pamma, chairman of the board of directors for the proposed temple.
Paul Bagha, a Folsom architect representing the temple project, and Live Oak resident Suzanne Wirth were the only speakers out of the more than 60 people present Thursday.
Wirth, who lives about a half-mile from the temple site, said she is not opposed to the project, but had concerns about the aesthetics of the building including its height. The environmental review did not address the issue, Wirth said, who added the temple warrants a traffic study.
She said a major impact will occur if people in cars leave the Baptist church and Sikh temple at the same time on Sundays.
Cook said some localized congestion will take place, but that neither the state transportation agency Caltrans nor the city engineer thought a traffic study was necessary. About aesthetic concerns, Cook said the temple is very well designed and the maximum height will be 51 feet.
He said the site of the temple, now an orchard, will definitely change from agriculture to urban. The property is planned for urban use, Cook added.
"We don't think it will degrade the existing character at all," he said.
The commission decision is final unless appealed to the City Council.
Wirth said after the vote that she will not appeal the commission's approval.