Council approves plans for new Sikh temple in Lenexa despite residents’ complaints

LENEXA, Kan. -- A local faith community is celebrating a victory Tuesday night after the Lenexa City Council voted 4-2, approving plans for a new temple despite concerns from nearby residents.

It's currently a big empty field near Lone Elm Road and 101st street. The Midwest Sikh Association owns the land. They'd like to use a dozen acres for a proposed gudwara, or temple, and then the rest for homes like the ones already in the area.

A rendering of the Sikh temple in Lenexa

Back in April, Lenexa's City Council pushed talks about the $4.5 million project back to Tuesday night's meeting to allow more time for discussion.

Two council members were against the design and wanted more time to make changes.

"The massive design overwhelms the area," council member Bill Nicks said. "We can design a temple that fits the surroundings."

Other residents' complaints included the color of the dome and potential light pollution.

But ultimately, most of the members approved, and the preliminary plan passed.

"I knew as we are coming in, into a new area, that they would have some questions. We were prepared for that," said Satinder Hundal, a member of the Sikh community. "They were very accommodating. There were some very, very nice folks."

Next comes a few months of finalizing plans, a vote for final approval and -- Sikh members hope -- a ground-breaking this spring.