Forsyth County may be sued for rejecting Hindu temple

Forsyth County commissioners vote unanimously to deny a permit for a Hindu temple near Lake Lanier.

The Forsyth News reports the landowner pursuing the conditional use permit (CUP) may go to court.

Dr. Sumaltha Satoor's attorney believes the refusal was on religious grounds.

"The issue of religious use basically neutralizes this issue of zoning, so I think there's really no reason for denial of this," attorney Stuart Teague tells the Forsyth News.

Commissioner Laura Semanson insists religion is not the issue at all.

She says building a temple and adjoining priest's residence in a residential community is prohibited by neighborhood covenants and the increased traffic would affect other homeowners.

Dr. Satoor applied last summer for a permit to build an 11,200 square foot temple and priest's residence on 8 acres she owns on Pilgrim Point Road. Plans call for 109 parking spaces.

Hundreds of residents have turned out at various hearings to object to the plans.

"They shouldn't be discriminating against one particular religion and that's what I felt like happened," Dr. Satoor tells the Forsyth News.

Longtime residents of Bald Ridge and Shady Shores near Lake Lanier disagree.

"It makes me sad that Dr. Satoor is pursuing this on religious grounds," Bald Ridge resident Paula Chambers tells the Forsyth News.  "This is so not what that's about."

"This is about our way of life," she adds.

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