Residents living near the Gurdwara Sahib of Fremont aren’t too keen on the Sikh temple’s plans to expand to nearly double its size.
According to the Fremont Argus, neighbors say the temple already causes traffic and parking problems.
The gurdwara, which draws up to 8,000 people during special events, hopes to expand from 28,074 square feet to 41,740 square feet, the newspaper reports.
A public meeting with temple members, residents, city staff and Fremont police was held last Monday.
The gurdwara is proposing an expansion of its dining hall, communal kitchen, and its classroom and community service facilities. The buildings would be demolished and rebuilt. Facilities for Sunday school classrooms, a new office and new priests’ quarters would also be built. The 355-space parking lot will also be redesigned and pushed further down Gurdwara Road but will stay around the same size, the Argus reports.
The prayer hall and sanctuary are not part of the expansion.
Nearby residents who are against the expansion say temple-goers flood the surrounding neighborhood, with some parking illegally and blocking driveways. One resident told reporters that it can take up to 20 minutes to travel 20 feet.
A bigger space would only add to the congestion, community members said.
"The temple has grown too much and it needs to stay just as it is, or they need to consider building a temple in a new location,” Kam Johal, a resident who lives nearby and worships at the gurdwara, told the Argus.
Gurdwara officials, however, have no plans to relocate.
According to the Argus, gurdwara project manager Amritpal Sra says the temple has addressed several of residents’ complaints, including building a bus stop on Mission Boulevard to cut down on parking in the surrounding neighborhood, repairing a fence and reducing outside noise. Gurdwara members also notify neighbors ahead of time about large events and encourage them to report parking violators.
The reconfigured parking will also help cut down traffic congestion, officials said.
Fremont city staff will discuss the gurdwara’s expansion next week and decide if it should be brought before the Planning Commission during its Jan. 24 meeting, according to the newspaper.
Do you live in the area? What do you think of the gurdwara's plans to expand?