By Jessica Mathews/

A Hindu temple is being proposed in Lyon Township.

The Planning Commission met virtually Monday night and reviewed plans to date. The Sri Bhakta Hanuman Temple would total approximately 65,840-square-feet with associated parking and utilities is being proposed on 11.67 acres of property located at the northwest corner of 9 Mile and Napier Road. The existing zoning is single-family residential and the land is mostly vacant.

The applicants stated that they’ve outgrown a temple constructed four years ago with two small buildings and purchased the Lyon Township property as the site is geographically centered for several communities that worship at the temple and others.

Consistent with Hindu architecture, it was stated that it would be a unique and highly ornate building that’s very welcoming and peaceful. Plans largely met requirements and the main issues to be addressed include lot coverage and the installation of sidewalk to promote walkability.

Lot coverage was at 46%, with the required standard 25% so a variance may be needed. However, the applicants noted that they are working to purchase an additional 3-acres to the north to meet requirements. 301 parking spots are proposed, with 287 required, thus it was suggested those 14 additional spots could be reduced to help minimize lot coverage. The proposed building height is 27.6-feet. The limit is 25-feet so a variance might be needed for that.

As for noise, was stated there would not be any speakers outside as it is a very serene and tranquil environment, especially inside of the building. Weddings take place but there is no alcohol allowed. The Road Commission determined no intersection improvements were needed and had no concerns about traffic flows or volumes. Outdoor lighting met requirements and landscaping largely complied. There were not as many deciduous trees as required but significantly more ornate trees than required.

The architect is a certified code officer and stated he always exceeds all code requirements. Plans are all ADA accessible and it was stated that the applicants will pursue some LEED energy sustainability features as the budget permits.

Commissioners agreed it was a beautifully designed building and that the additional two feet of height wasn’t really a concern. Commissioner Ron Pennington agreed with others that sidewalks need to go in and the applicants need to work on lot coverage but the couple extra feet for height wasn't a problem. He added it was a beautiful building and you don't see many things like that built anymore.

Following comments from commissioners, the applicants stated they would build out sidewalk to the property lines and comply with whatever is needed.

Any updated plans would need to be submitted prior to a virtual public hearing at the July 12th meeting. The Commission will conduct another site plan review and address the special land use request before taking action in the form of a recommendation to the township board.

A link to the Planning Commission meeting is provided.