Whether Sufism Reoriented will be able to build a new sanctuary in residential Saranap, an unincorporated part of Contra Costa County located between Walnut Creek and Lafayette, is coming down to the wire. As the Saranap Community Association reports:
The board of supervisors’ hearing on appeals of the county planning commission’s approval of the Sufism Reoriented sanctuary will be held Tuesday, Feb. 21, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Lesher Center for the Arts in downtown Walnut Creek.
The county planning commission on Nov. 8 approved Sufism Reoriented’s application to build a sanctuary on Boulevard Way. The 4-2 vote came after three nights of public comments during which more than 200 people spoke. In addition to approving the church’s land use permit, the commission approved the environmental impact report on the project and the merging the seven parcels that make up the site.
Subsequent to the commission’s decision, eleven appeals were filed, including one by Sufism Reoriented.
While Sufism Reoriented wants to build the 66,000 square foot building, many in the Saranap community, like those part of Save Our Saranap, are against the project. The county Environmental Impact Report can be viewed here. Crazy in Suburbia has an informative post as to why it should not be approved.
Although the image of the spaceship-like aerial view of the sanctuary gets a lot of attention, here is a simulated view taken from the county environmental report. Doesn’t seem that out of the ordinary at street level. Other simulated views in the report have the sanctuary completely hidden from view. I had thought it would be more visible at street level. That being said I’m not sure I’d like it next to where I live. If this were built within a few blocks of where you live would you be ok with it or not?