American Turban

Plainview, NY Gurdwara shut due to code violations

The Guru Gobind Singh Sikh Center in Plainview, NY (photo: plainviewgurudwara.org)

The Guru Gobind Singh Sikh Center in Plainview, NY (photo: plainviewgurudwara.org)

After complaints from neighbors, the Guru Gobind Singh Sikh Center in Plainview, New York, has been closed by its municipality due to multiple code violations:

Among the issues cited by the town is the lack of a certificate of occupancy for the gurdwara itself and the lack of a public assembly permit for the outdoor activities that are common features of the Sikh community…

The gurdwara was closed recently after town zoning enforcement officials acted on noise and other complaints from area residents, Barry said.

Some area homeowners had been complaining about traditional music being played over loudspeakers and large gatherings at the site, which backs up to a residential neighborhood.

In addition, the temple was issued violations for having no outdoor plumbing facilities for use with their tents and for having erected fences that exceed town standards without a variance…

One of those outdoor activities would have included their Vaisakhi celebration last April.

This is unfortunate news, especially following the news about the Gurdwaras in Queens, New York, Austin, Texas, and Washington, DC.  It goes to show how crucial it is for Gurdwara management committees to be well versed in proper planning and operation of the Gurdwara under their jurisdiction.

One wonders how common these situations are among Gurdwaras in this country, and if Sikhs in America could produce a “best practices” guide for congregations when they consider constructing a new place of worship.  Such a resource might spare those congregations, their neighbors and their municipalities a lot of grief, frustration and disappointment, and allow those Sikhs to become better integrated within their neighborhoods.

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