Thursday, July 18, 2013

Hearing will continue regarding ISKCON temple in Parsippany

The International Society for Krishna Consciousness is
looking to have a temple built at the intersection of
Baldwin and Troy roads
The Parsippany Zoning Board of Adjustment is scheduled to resume hearings on the application for a proposed temple at the intersection of Baldwin and Troy roads.
The controversial project initiated by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) has been opposed by neighbors, townspeople and local businesses.
Hearings began in 2008 on the Hare Krishna plan to build a temple on an almost three-acre lot in a congested section off Route 46 in close proximity to historic homes, commercial enterprises, the Police Athletic League center and Smith Field.
The search for a new home ended in late 2007 when the land in Parsippany was purchased for approximately $1.8 million.
The issue then became that the property they bought is zoned O-1, meaning it is for office use and a house of worship is not a permitted use. The surrounding area is partially residential and partially commercial and near historic Isaac Beech house.
Neighbors in the area, both residents and business owners, opposed the project. A number of concerns have been voiced over the years including quality of life, the numbers of people the new temple would attract, additional traffic and potential noise.
Over the course of almost five years the plan has undergone many changes, including a decision to scale back the project in 2010, opposition remains strong.
The initial plan, including the wings, a mezzanine and a storage loft, put the building size at 55,043 square feet. The elimination of the wings, but still including the mezzanine and storage loft, cut the size down by 16,444 square feet to 38,599 square feet. Eliminated from the plan were some of the residential rooms, a museum and some classrooms. Added into the plan were aggressive foliage buffers along the border.
The ISKCON congregation has been meeting in an old house near Camp Dawson in the Towaco section of Montville since 1981. However, it became obvious to the temple’s leadership in 2003 that the location which is difficult to access and the 1800s building which is beyond repair had to be replaced.

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