President urges ok for controversial Hare Krishna temple

14/Dec/2010
By Kaitlyn Offer, Midland-Kalamunda Reporter
THE controversial development of a Hare Krishna Temple in Lesmurdie should be approved if the best outcome for everyone is to happen, according to Shire of Kalamunda President Don McKechnie.

THE controversial development of a Hare Krishna Temple in Lesmurdie should be approved if the best outcome for everyone is to happen, according to Shire of Kalamunda President Don McKechnie.

Emotions over the issue have become so intense that one man had to be ordered out of the council chambers when a revised set of plans for the development went before the planning services committee meeting last Monday evening.

The meeting had to be adjourned until a member of the public left the public gallery.

A decision on the site’s revised redevelopment plan was also deferred to the ordinary council meeting on December 20.

The first plans were rejected by the council in July this year due to several factors – an insufficient number of parking bays; the bulk, colour and height of the building, which was incompatible with its surrounds; the potential for increased noise and traffic; neighbours felt they would lose privacy; and a proposed commercial kitchen which was not in accordance with the zoning.

The proponents then took the issue to the State Administrative Tribunal, where two mediation sessions with the Shire have taken place.

Cr McKechnie said that in his personal opinion, the redevelopment should be approved because the changes to the proposal were significant.

He said the temple had come back with six compromises, and mediation had been successful.

“They’ve tried to fix the problems most people had.

I think they’ve tried their best to accommodate concerns,” he said.

“If we don’t accept what we’ve had put forward now, they can go back to SAT and all bets are off. They could go ahead with the original plans.”

The modifications included a reduced height to the proposed domes, reconfiguring the car park for more bays, additional landscaping for screening and privacy for neighbours and narrowing of the upper floor balconies.

In their report to the council, Shire officers also recommended that the council grant approval for the redevelopment of the Hare Krishna Temple as long as a traffic impact statement and management plan was submitted, 74 car bays were marked, mature plants established as screening, and the colours and textures were approved by the director of planning and development services.

Posted in In the News.