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March 17, 2009

Saranap neighbors protest large "spaceship-looking" Sufism sanctuary


Update: CBS5.com's report on the "faith center fight" surrounding the proposed Sufism Reoriented sanctuary is up on the station's website. Reporter Joe Vasquez did a good job pulling the story together.

About 50 moms, dads, and kids, holding signs and shouting "Save Our Saranap" protested late this afternoon outside the Sufism Reoriented headquarters in Walnut Creek. They were showing their opposition to the size and design for the religious organization's massive, 66,000-square-foot proposed "house of worship."


What spurred their protest? Well, in part it was spurred by a post on this blog that was published Sunday.
And--finally!--a mainstream news organization has shown ian nterest in the debate over this project, presenting both sides, I presume. The debate has sharply divided residents in this once tranquil unincorporated neighborhood between downtown Walnut Creek and Lafayette.
That news organization is CBS5.com. Reporter Joe Vasquez (seen above with Save our Saranap, or SOS, protesters) stopped by Sufism headquarters on Boulevard Way, just south of Interstate 24, to talk to representatives of the organization and to protesters for a report that is scheduled to air tonight at 11 p.m.





Meanwhile, a quickly organized group of Saranap residents, holding mostly hand-made signs, gathered to express their opposition to the project, as it is currently envisioned.
During the protest, many motorists drove by honking in support. One man, who described himself as a long-term resident of the neighborhood, said he had sent his kids to the private K-5 Meher Schools, which Sufism operates in the neighborhood. He said his kids had a great educational experience at the school. He explained that he wasn't all that aware of the debate about the sanctuary but was concerned to learn, according to SOS protesters, that construction of the project would involve the destruction of all the trees on the 3.25-acre property.
At least one motorist, a man in a gray pickup, very much disagreed with the protest. He drove past the protesters, who included kids, and shouted "You're trying to take away our church!"

Contrary to what this one this motorist said, Save Our Saranap members do not want to stop Sufism Reoriented from building his sanctuary. SOS just wants Sufism Reoriented to reconsider the size and design to make it more appropriate for this residential neighborhood.

Finally, I'm glad that Joe Vasquez and CBS5.com are tuning into this issue. Maybe, finally a real dialogue can begin, where both sides can air their viewpoints. That has not happened before now, not in the larger public domain. The Contra Costa Times published two lame stories over the summer about Sufism Reoriented and the project. They were basically rewrites of Sufism Reoriented press releases, and the Times reporters didn't bother to talk to anyone from the growing numbers of people who were not happy about the project.
I am sympathetic to SOS members organizing and raising questions. Still, I'm happy to see that people sympathetic and supportive to Sufism Reoriented and its sanctuary plans left comments on my prior blog posts, offering an alternate viewpoint from what I'm hearing from my Save Our Saranap friends. Many of those comments, from both supporters and opponents of the project, were very informative, heart-felt and well thought out.
To read more about the project, you can read my post, which has many comments, or visit the websites for Save Our Saranap and Sufism Reoriented.

54 comments:

Anonymous said...

so, ok, 50 people made some noise -

WHO CARES?!?!?!?

This project's a no brainer-gonna happen thing per the RLUPA law.

also - since you've pointed it out so clearly in the pics - did that SOS group count all those kids in its numbers of opposed? they aren't old enough to even know what the issues really are here - which totally includes religious discrimination.

If they counted a lot of kids in their "725 opposed" number, then distortion abounds and Soccer Mom is helping them do that.

Anonymous said...

I'm posting this on both stories because in the prior blog post, Soccer Mom said:

'To sum up, SOS is asking Sufism Reoriented “to be the good neighbors that they have been for many years." '

According to most readers of that blog, the Sufis have been good neighbors, so is Soccer Mom now the publicity firm for the SOS people?

What does it mean: be good neighbors? Should the Sufi people
> Give up the symbols of their faith?
> Make it too small to be effectively useable for their purposes?

Seems like the Sufi people could argue that the SOS people are (and the first community group were) not being good neighbors.

As I understand it, here these tolerant religious people provide a cheap private school, be good tenants, and clean up the bad lots of garbage for 30+ years and the community association does not even give their plan a proper hearing before voting NO on it.

> How is that representative?
> How was that a fair thing to do?

yer losin' me Soccer Mom! Please go back to being less biased - you were lots more fun that way

Anonymous said...

YO Soccer Mom!

How did you know to be there this afternoon?

Those pics are proof of you syncing up with the SOS people.

Anonymous said...

What the %&$* does "SOS just wants Sufism Reoriented to reconsider the size and design to make it more appropriate for this residential neighborhood" mean?

"More Appropriate?" - is that code for no white, Islamic-looking, dome headed temple allowed in MY backyard?

methinks so!

Anonymous said...

really people: she can blog what she wants!

Soccer Mom said...

Readers,
Thanks for your comments. Meanwhile, it's my blog. I post about issues that interest me. If you don't like what I write, post comments about why you disagree. Take me to task. Or don't bother. Don't read it. It's your choice.

Mayor of CLAYCORD said...

Soccer Mom,

Welcome to my World!

Mayor

Anna said...

That was funny! Welcome to my world. Good reporting Soccer Mom.

I usually try to read each article posted, if only every few days. Its amusing and interesting to me. Keep up the good reporting work.

Anonymous said...

Hey folks,

All of those kids ARE Save Our Saranap. It seems like SOS feels that Saranap belongs to them.

I sincerely hope that the Sufis prevail.

I was driving home by Northcreek, and their facility really is butt ugly. But, I guess it's a "Christian" church, so that makes it OK.

Anonymous said...

The North Creek church is butt ugly, and so is the Sufi church. But how many people does the big butt ugly North Creek church have coming in on a daily, weekly basis? Then there's the butt ugly Sufi spaceship, close encounters thing. Just for 350 people. Right. 350 people.

Anonymous said...

Look, could it be that SOS people do not go to church much and that's why they do not understand why the Sufis could use that much space for 350 people? This is a real question I have; it's not a dig.

Didn't anyone read the part about how Sufis put on concerts and plays? that means they need some SPACE to do that. they probably store a lot of stuff and they spend a lot of time there, by many accounts - requires SPACE.

Some basically are calling Sufis liars when they say that more than 350 people will be using the site regularly. Perhaps calling them liars is slightly a little bit better than them being called "little devils", as they were in one editorial on the SOS web site.

It's not at all a stretch to see that particular SOS editorial as "hate talk" and so if the opposition is really, as claimed, just about the size and design, then why the loaded description of Sufis as "devils"?

A quick Google search shows that the words Islamic and devils have been put together repeatedly in the past, notably by those worried about post 9/11 Islamic extremists.

So if, as claimed, the SOS people do not wish folks to see them as bigoted, then perhaps they should stop using bigoted and veiled allegories on their website. I might be able to take their claims more seriously if they acted with a bit more explicitness, as in:

~ what exactly does a better size mean?
~ what exactly would a better size look like?

Just complaining about the size and design without ANYONE on this blog offering up ANY ideas of a different design or whatnot just makes it sound like the SOS is bigoted and smallsighted -

Prove that you are not - that you really want a solution that takes your ideas into account - so far, all I hear is that you won't be happy unless no trees are cut and it's not white, and it's not a dome, and it's not big - what alternative does SOS propose if in fact you do not really have a problem with the basic idea that the Sufis are within their rights to build something?

Also, it's simply a distortion to say the thing will look like a space ship from eye level, ground level, street level and so forth. The Channel 5 news report just showed that, not 10 minutes ago.

Finally, as someone else implied, SOS does seem to think the neighborhood is more theirs than it is the Sufis' - maybe that's why they bailed on the fairly elected SCA leadership and formed their own "club".

My only thing on the kids is counting them in the number of opposed - should not happen, if indeed it has been.

Castle Hill Bill said...

anon 10:55- I think this boils down to a zoning issue and not a property rights issue. The government has the right, through zoning ordinances,to approve how the property is used and how big a footprint it can have etc. The Suffis will get their compound built, but some compromises will probably have to be made to get it through the whole approval process without major delays. Hopefully, both sides will be pissed off when the religious group completes the process. I think that would mean that neither of them got all that they wanted but we should feel that both sides of the plan had their say and their rights respected.

Anonymous said...

10:55,

I see. A couple of Sufis (or Hispanics, Blacks, or whatever -- just fill in the blank) is OK, but too many is obviously not.

This is really about prejudice and religious oppression.

Anonymous said...

10:55,

I understand that the building will be a max of 35 feet tall, and that the illustration being circulated is an overhead picture. The building will also be well landscaped all around. It seems to me that the only way you'll be able to really view it is from your broom.

Anonymous said...

Castle Hill Bill,

It's not a zoning issue. It's a RLUPA issue. RLUPA trumps zoning laws.

Anonymous said...

SOS and such are simply trying to bully these people into submission.

Anonymous said...

Yeah RLUPA!

Anonymous said...

6:50 - yeah I agree that SOS and Soccer Mom are doing some bullying, but from what I read, the Sufis did not do themselves favors in their conversations, so I think that made the SOS people pissed off - hope all these folks can work it out.

if those Sufis have that kind of money, why don't they buy out the adjacent neighbors?

Anonymous said...

Castle Hill Bill:

Like the other guy said, RLUPA will trump the zoning.

But even under zoning the only variance, the Sufis could theoretically only have a problem re: the traffic, since CCC already established precendence on an ADJACENT lot (owned by an SOS leader) for a height variance.

Re: the traffic - and this tells you how much the Sufis care about staying and working with the neighbors - it's my understanding that over the past few years, many Sufis sold nice big houses in different areas of the county to move within walking distance of their church - so that - there would be no increased traffic for their neighbors, come rain or shine.

as such I doubt the "traffic problem" will be seen as a "problem" by CCC.

it's just too bad the Sufis are not getting credit for taking such drastic steps to be "neighborly"

Anonymous said...

Is anyone going to mention that the corner of Boulevard Way included in the building plans is a really dangerous and highly trafficked one? There are near accidents there each and every day. The Sufi project would appear to be at least a two-year construction endeavor. Dangerous traffic congestion will be intolerable. At least for this nearby resident.

Anonymous said...

TO 8:23

See, there's another SOS claim that has not been substantiated at all.

The claim of there being a lot of accidents at the corner of Blvd and Kinney is, as far as I can tell, total balderdash!

Where's the beef baby? show us the report that supports your claim.

I have lived less than 1/2 mile from that corner and take walks along that road often. I have NEVER seen ONE accident in the all the years I have lived in the neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

Ok, here's my question.....On the SOS website is states that there will be a number of Heritage Oaks taken down to build this property. How are they getting around that? Is it true? I was unable to put on an addition to my own home due to a Heritage Oak that HAD to be preserved, how are they getting around this issue?

If I lived in this area I would be concerned about the building. Whether it be a church (of any demonination) or any other building in a residential area. It just cracks me up that people can just slap up any old house in a neighborhood yet when people are hiding behind the cloaks of religion they cry that it's some sort of witch hunt. Bottom line?
They building is too big, does not fit the look of the neighborhood and, in my opinion, is going to draw a heck of a lot more than 350 people.

Before you shout that I'm a racist, let me give you some of my own history. I was a Christian raised in a predominately Jewish neighborhood. They majority of them were Orthodox Jews who walked every Friday night to the temple on the corner. They were amazing neighbors, just as the Sulfis are pictured as. The difference? The temple was tasteful and fit in with our neighborhood dwellings. There is a Mormon church here in WC up the street from me that is beautiful and fits in well with the surrounding homes, etc.

There is no other property in a non-residential neighborhood these people can build in? If they are set on building something so large, why can't it be where there is more land available?

Anonymous said...

edit: you CAN'T just slap up any old house.....

Anonymous said...

To 8:43 aka one of Soccer Mom's new-found trolls (and there will be many more now)

Note that I said "near" accident. I've lived in the neighborhood for 13 years and have seen many close calls with my own eyes. There's the beef, beyotch.

Anonymous said...

re 2:33

ok, so let's all be clear about what just happened:

the phrase "beyotch" is a spelling and pronunciation variation of the traditional word used to insult and degrade women: "bitch"

now, to call a man like me a beyotch is quite something and so I felt it should be called out.

shame...and I thought this was an intelligent conversation between consenting adults!

Anonymous said...

It's my understanding that

1) none of these trees in question have actually been classified as heritage oaks - IMO, that's a distortion being used to elevate the level of fear in those opposed by their leaders
2) the paperwork that has to be done does not preclude them from being cut down or, perhaps even ever being classified as heritage oaks - honestly - those trees just ar not that big.
3) developers can make offsets regarding things like some smaller number of trees for more trees that more than adequately replace the trees gone

I don't think that issue will stop the project. RLUPA has big teeth - will chomp.

Anonymous said...

I hear the sound of 6 trees being chomp chomp chomped!

did the world end?

not

Anonymous said...

3:08 and 3:10

Believe me, I'm not a tree hugger in any way, shape or form, I just found it a bit odd that a church can do something (cutting down trees....which may or may not exist) while I (a taxpayer, no less) can't complete a project due to a tree. This shouldn't be a RLUPA issue or, perhaps, maybe I should create my own church. Again, people hiding behind a religion (any religion) can bend the rules as soon as they shout that they are being unfairly treated.

Anonymous said...

3:17

i'm not 100% sure on the rules about it - it's just my recollection as best as it is. Might have to do with it being a totally new building - the King Estates had some kind of in-kind trading going on like that...

Anonymous said...

If you have lived in the Saranap for 13 years and have felt the Kinney and Blvd way intersection is a hazard, why did you wait 13 years until the Sufi project emerged to voice your concerns?

If you are having near-misses, perhaps you should go a different way to your destination - it is possible, you know.

Anonymous said...

Saranap is an old established neighborhood that is quaint and quiet with no sidewalks and few street lights. A little bit of country on the edge of the city. People bought here because they wanted what Saranap has to offer. Building a 66,000 square foot building with 46,000 square feet underground and 20,000 square feet above ground that is made out of white cement does not fit in with the trees, older homes and the quaintness of the Saranap area. Imagine a building larger than the White House put in the middle of your subdivision, but that building does not look like a house, it looks like cement domes. The current design of this sanctuary building is not good for the area. The sanctuary needs to be redesigned to fit in with the neighborhood. The design should take the present trees into account and keep them and use them in the design of the landscaping around the sanctuary. The current design has a 46,000 square foot deep hole (that will be deep enough to house an entire building underground) that will be dug into the ground, much like a gravel pit or a coal mining operation, in the middle of a residential neighborhood that will take a minimum of 6 to 8 months to dig out; 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. No neighborhood should have to endure the noise, the dust, the torn up roads from the dump trucks and heavy equipment. Religious groups have the right to build a sanctuary to worship at, but the design of the sactuary that the Sufi's want that in their eyes is beautiful, is not beautiful in the eyes of the neighbors that bought their homes in Saranap because of the beauty that is currently surrounding them. Sufi's and Saranap neighbors need to agree upon a design that both sides can love. I am a Saranap neighbor that wants a design that I can live with and love.

Anonymous said...

11:51

While I can understand your thinking on it, here's the thing:

RLUPIA allows churches to build with designs that match their faith symbols, not YOUR idea of beauty.

As to most of your other comments: neighbohoods since time began, have been upset by dust and noise. It used to be called progress.

I am guessing that if someone told you how to landscape your yard or how design an addition to your house, you might just have a HUGE problem with that...

but somehow, it seems okay to you to tell a religious group (protected by first amendment) how you think they should design their building and grounds. Not only that, you think it is okay on aesthetic reasons - you sy so yourself - so it is not about "land use" in your case.

Perhaps you and the SOS think it is okay to do this since you are in a group and being in a group helps you think your thinking is right; you sit there and tell each other - "yes you are RIGHT!"

Well, a gang of rapists thinks they "are right" in some perverted way too when they tell themselves they are entitled to enforce their will on a victim.

I think we can all easily see that a gang of rapists is misguided in their desire for control, and quite a few of us non-Sufi neighbors can see that the SOS is misguided in their clear desire for control.

Hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

11:51

I've read this bogus idea that the Saranap is "quaint" enough times to be annoyed enough to actually get myself into this mess of a discussion!

The Saranap is NOT QUAINT at all around the area in this discussion. The neighborhood there is characterized by condos and apartments, the Blvd Way market bldg, a 7-11 store, and a cluster of businesses as well as a PG&E storage yard ALL within 1/2 mile of the place.

SO - - - QUAINT IT IS NOT - what a bunch of malarky!

Anonymous said...

Nope that area of the Saranap is most certainly not "quaint".

In fact around those parts, the freeway noise is constant, so give us a break with this "Saranap is being victimized by Sufis" phooey!

Anonymous said...

4:51

You wouldn't know this but many, including myself, have voiced concerns about that blind corner to the county for years. The Sufi-followers building issue is simply another forum for discussion.

Anonymous said...

I was under the impression that the Sufi project would improve the sight line on that turn, and add a sidewalk too. As someone who walks often in the neighborhood, a sidewalk at that crazy turn would be MOST welcomed!

Anonymous said...

The area that they are going to build the sanctuary is not the horrible eyesore that is the old LaRossa Market and the Help U Sell building. It is the nice old house on the corner of Blvd Way at the intersection of Kinney Drive and all of the homes that go over to the apartment building at 1336Blvd. Way. It is too bad that the eyesore buildings are not part of the demolition. This sanctuary is in the neighborhood with houses. And to 11:51 p.m. poster. You sound like a Sufi that is mad at the people that are questioning why a futuristic monstrosity is going to be built. We all have opinions. I am entitled to mine since I will have to drive by whatever is built on the land several times a day for the remaining years of my life. It seems like you are judging us more than we are questioning why it has to be so big, why it has to be underground, why the trees have to be cut down, why there is not enough parking spaces, who is going to pay for the damage to the roads, and why we would have to put up with noise, dirt and turmoil on our streets? I don't know who elected you God to judge, but you seem to be ready to step into that position. So, unless you live in the Saranap area, you should take your opinions elsewhere and let us wonder and ask why this large of a building has to be built and why the Sufi's were not up front with what they were going to do until all of this came down. There is a solution to this and it will take both sides to agree together to make a beautiful building that we all can live with.

Anonymous said...

Someone is concerned about traffic, and we hear site lines will be improved with the new project.

Someone is concerned about parking, and we hear that they have demonstrated a traffic demand management plan for almost two years.

Someone is concerned about trees, and we find that so many trees will be planted that the building will almost disappear in about 6 years.

Someone is concerned about size, and we hear that two thirds is being put under ground to make them more comfortable (imagine the White House buried two thirds under ground).

Someone is concerned about noise, and I hear loud leaf blowers every single day, and freeway noise all day and all night. This project noise is temporary.

Someone is concerned about a historic building, and we find out it is not historic, and has been hashed up by a former owner.

Someone is concerned about lights, they reduced the lights.

People say they will make sure their are concessions. Seems like they have made many of them already.

It's like whack a mole with these folks! They never never tire out. Imagine if they spent that much time on projects in the 'hood! What a great place this could be.

WWJD?

Anonymous said...

6:02 - this is 11:51

I am NOT a Sufi, but what I did want to do is make the point that even people we would ALL consider criminals can think they are right, particularly if they are in a group.

I clearly made a distinction between rapists and the SOS members - but what is common between the groups, IMO, is a seeking of control over someone else:

"I think we can all easily see that a gang of rapists is misguided in their desire for control, and quite a few of us non-Sufi neighbors can see that the SOS is misguided in their clear desire for control."

As you can see, I do mention that I live in the neighborhood and that I am not a Sufi... I am not sure why that was a point of confusion for you.

Anonymous said...

I am NOT a Sufi, but my best friends and neighbors are!

How many times have we read this sort of thing on these message boards.

I am NOT a Sufi. Oh, because the honest, peace-loving Sufis are supposed to be above the vitriolic, hyperbolic attacks. They are in their own little Happy Sufi world. Meanwhile, they let their supposed "friends" and "neighbors" do their pit bull dirty work for them.

We don't really know who is posting on these boards, and we don't know who is a "friend" of the Sufis, or actually a Sufi.

Steve said...

I am a bit disappointed by both sides, especially the pro-sanctuary side, in how black and white, us versus them everyone seems to see this.

Let us take religion and individual personalities out of this using the following examples:

Say the same people live in the Saranap neighborhood as do now, and that Sufi members don't own the property in question; instead another group does.

A group of people wish to build a helicopter training facility on the site and train 20 hours per day, meaning noise, and the possibility of a helicopter falling on your house.

The helicopter-wanters say this is the perfect location. The highest density of the pilots worldwide lives in the neighborhood, and the wind/climate is ideal.

Are they evil for wanting the facility? No.

A group of residents doesn't think the facility is appropriate for various reasons and organizes to stop the facility, or move it to an area where it would be more appropriate.

Are the anti-facility residents wrong? Are they bigotous helicopter and helicopter pilot haters? Not at all.

Would it be wrong to oppose, say, a giant orange building on the proposed sanctuary site to process millions of pounds of chicken manure into chemicals each week, some of them dangerous? Even when the proponents say the experts on chicken manure processing live in the neighborhood, the soil and climate are perfect, etc? I sure would. I would also oppose, say, a large factory, or a teeny nuclear or coal-fired power plant.

So let's be real. The minds of reasonable people will differ. We must be able to agree to disagree and move forward without calling out the religion card (annoys me as much as using the race or culture cards when they are not the issue).

We have things like a political system in which we vote for/against things as we feel appropriate. We have a legal system to work out disputes when people can't do so on their own. We have laws for how land should be developed that in general serve their purpose well.

And another thing - both web sites have misleading information on their sites. Duh! Name me a political race in which each side didn't state things in such a way as to make their side/case look good, and the other bad. Name me a marketing or sales person who doesn't do that on a daily basis. Do disputes between children, or at work, get presented perfectly un-biased by each side?

Sufism reoriented is perfectly welcome to want a sanctuary, and propose a design. Any neighbors who don't want it the way it's presently designed are free to oppose it non-violently. Demonstration is appropriate for either side. NIMBY is only a negative term when you're on the side that wants the development.

The founding fathers of this nation wanted an educated citizenry that would debate issues.

Lastly, the ideal case would be for the pro and anti-sanctuary leadership to meet and list the pro group's top priorities, and the anti groups biggest issues. Compromises should be suggested and discussed. If no agreement can be reached, then the only issues that are legally questionable are those that require variances. In addition, I'm sure the county would want to know if, using the upper examples, say, 90% of the people in the neighborhood opposed the chicken manure processing plant or helicopter training facility. So a count of for/against is reasonable.

Anonymous said...

Well said Steve. We all have a right to our own opinions and we all have a right to be for or against this.

Anonymous said...

Steve you are a douchebag for taking the time to write that garbage.

Anonymous said...

Steve you're lame. Freedom of religion is the core of this issue. Why bother posting your irrelevant garbage?

Anonymous said...

I read on Wikipedia that the spiritual leader of this branch of Sufism popularized the saying "don't worry, be happy" (back even before Bobby McFerrin, heh). Now, from reading a lot of these posts, I get the impression that everybody is worried and nobody's happy! There must be some middle ground that can reasonably accommodate most of the needs of both sides, especially given the fact that it sounds as though the members of the Sufi group are *also* members of the Saranap community who have given freely of their hearts and energy to the larger Contra Costa community. It's probably not even "us. vs. them." Them "is" us, us "is" them, we are all together. (OK, now I think I've segued from Bobby McFerrin to the Beatles.)

Anonymous said...

Yea, in an effort to live close to their center, most members of Sufism Reoriented have moved close by in the Saranap neighborhoods surrounding Boulevard Way. There is no requirement to do so, but most have strong connections to activities at the church and their school.

That was why following the election meeting it seemed like such sour grapes to hear that the people who lost spread the false rumor that Sufism Reoriented "bussed in people to vote in the election from Antioch."

It was funny, but also was-they found out later--just the beginning of lies and innuendo spread about a "takeover."

Most people just walked over to the Sun Valley Bible Chapel, or parked at the Meher School down the hill. They don't even have any members that live in east county!

So, when one of their members stood up at a meeting and said "we ARE the neighbors!" They were actually telling it like it is.

When people describe Sufis as if they are outside carpetbaggers, or outside developers, it is hurtful...and frankly a bold face lie. Many members of Sufism Reoriented have been here in the Saranap for much longer than those protesting their worship center!

But it is much easier for some to vilify someone as an outsider.

I've heard some of them joke among themselves about "oh yes, it was our evil plan to sneak in and buy houses and condos, get jobs, raise families, fix up our homes, and clean toilets at the school for 35 years, and then WHAM, reveal the secret plot." Pretty ridiculous when you think about it.

But Steve, it was not quite as ridiculous as your thinly veiled comparison of this groups Church to (and make no mistake, your fear mongering weak attempt at an analogy was just that):
1. A noisy helicopter training facility with crashing copters.
2. A giant orange chicken manure treatment facility full of dangerous chemicals.
3. A large factory.
4. A teeny nuclear power plant.
5. A coal-fired power plant.

You know, I think everyone is starting to miss the evil flying monkeys now. I think the opposition is beginning to say to themselves "I'm meeeltttinnnggg! What a world, what a world."

Why would the Sufis ever sit down around a table--anymore--with this kind of group and "negotiate" as if there was something to talk about. I was told they have had multiple meetings with the "leadership" of these groups. With both the old SCA officers who quit, and also with neighbors on more than one occasion. They have held two meetings for the neighbors at their own center, and attended and presented at two public Community Meetings hosted by the new SCA.

As a result, they have modified the layout of the parking lot, the lighting, the fountain was changed to a reflecting pool, they changed and added to the landscaping, and they have modified the enclosure wall along Blvd Wy.

I heard Curtis Trenor said "I'd be just fine with it, if you put the whole thing under ground." So apparently, Mr. Trenor isn't at all concerned about the size of it, he just doesn't want to look at it, and wants to have a nice park with bambi and thumper frolicking o'er the required wall next to his "massive 35'" craftsman ski-chalet (what no protest over it not being ranch style??). He's the definition of NIMBY. He's got his, now everyone ELSE must toe the line and suck it up.

I think the Sufis have turned that rock over enough times with these people. They are beyond unreasonable.

Anonymous said...

I think there might be orange nuclear chicken manure under that rock.

Anonymous said...

Steve is right in asking what kind of limits are acceptable. Hiding behind the cloak of religious freedom to promulgate something over the top is wrong. Take a step back and I think any reasonable person understands that locating a massive spaceship-looking "church" in a residential neighborhood is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Spare us! The spaceship argument died in the water via the TV broadcast that showed fairly nice looking, ground level pictures.

so unless you plan to live up in the clouds looking down from 500', I think it's time for the mute button.

that complaint is inane

Anonymous said...

it's all they got--desperation--they got nothin'

Anonymous said...

"Spare us! The spaceship argument died in the water via the TV broadcast that showed fairly nice looking, ground level pictures."

Oh that's right, they just want to build it that way to 'signal' the aliens from outerspace. Very clever of them.

Anonymous said...

Guy Bailing
Old Fart
First Guy
Another Old Fart

With former members leaving SOS, and some just leaving AND too scared to say so, because they are afraid of the leaders of the group (now...who made that crack about the KoolAid? ask yourself who's acting like the dictator here).

In the new SOS math, they must be down to about 16 kids and 4 adults in that group by now.

Dennis, Brian, Curtis, Marve...turn out the lights when you've "left the building."

Anonymous said...

FYI, SOS continues to grow!! More members continue to join every day. Why? Because the residents of Saranap care about preserving their semi-rural neighborhood.

Can't wait for the County hearing!!! But oh, when will that be???? Not anytime soon because this developement is full of flawed planning. Is SOS questioning if Sufism Reoriented will modify their plans or possibly give up? Absolutely not. Sufism Reoriented has proven they will stop at nothing. Just means it will take longer for us all to meet face to face at the County and gives the neighborhood more time to organize!! Thank you SR!

Anonymous said...

SOS claim 725 members...yet only about 390 are listed. Gee, ugh...I'm no math wiz, but the ocean became a river, became a trickle, became a mist, a vapor, a gas, then disappeared altogether. OWNED!