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NORTH HILLS : City Denies Appeal for Religious Center

August 25, 1993|JEFF SCHNAUFER

Despite promises to scale back the use of the facility, proponents of a Sikh religious and community center in North Hills were dealt another setback Tuesday when city officials denied their appeal.

More than 40 Sikhs and their supporters showed up at the hearing before three commissioners from the Board of Zoning Appeals, hoping to win approval for their plans to transform a lot at 14920 Plummer St. into a gathering place for their group.

The proposal called for the conversion of an existing single-family home into a library, reading room and sanctuary. Two adjacent buildings would be destroyed to build a 3,200-square-foot multipurpose room complete with day care and senior citizen activities. Thirty parking spaces would also be included.

But in a unanimous decision, the commissioners backed neighbors concerns that the site was too residential for such plans, pointing out that the 33,000-square-foot lot was surrounded by five homes and that the design would not fit in with the rest of the neighborhood.

The decision was a setback for leaders of the Ramgarhia, a group of about 100 Sikhs living in the Valley who on Tuesday offered to withdraw the day care and senior activities. It would be only the third Sikh religious center in the Valley. Ramgarhia leaders said they would appeal the case all the way to the City Council.

"We've already bought the property," said Haspinder Singh Manku, 38, a Northridge resident. "We just need a house of worship."

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