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Home about to become legal house of worship

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POSTED November 28, 2009 2:25 a.m.
A residence at the southeast corner of Woodward Avenue and Airport Way is about to officially become a house of worship.

The Manteca Sikh Temple has a request before the San Joaquin County Planning Commission to allow the use of an existing 4,422-square-footor residence on two acres for use as a religious facility.

The house had been used for religious assembly without a proper permit when it was brought to the county’s attention in 2004. It had been used as a house of worship for several years prior to that time.

That prompted the temple’s leadership to submit a use permit application for the construction of a 9,250-square-foot building that could hold up to 249 people. The applicant never met the conditions of the project and approval expired on Aug. 1, 2007.

One of those conditions was a traffic study required by the county Department of Public Works.

The temple leadership has since revised their plans. By topping out at 136 people maximum the project no longer meets the 50-vehicle threshold during any one hour that would trigger a traffic study that can be expensive and could have required them to contribute to road improvements as well as traffic signals at Woodward Avenue and Airport Way.

There is already a large parking lot in place.

Services take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. There are no regularly scheduled outdoor activities nor are there outdoor speakers or bells.

Federal law requires jurisdictions to allow religious facilities in virtually any type of zoning including residential.

Several foreclosed homes in Manteca have been bought for use of start-up churches.

The county planning commission meets on Thursday, Dec. 3, at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium at the San Joaquin County Department of Public Health Services, 1601 East Hazelton Ave., in Stockton.
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