Milford PZB approves Hindu temple and cultural center

Land use attorney Thomas Lynch often brings controversial projects before the Planning and Zoning Board, but on Tuesday, March 20, he brought “peace and harmony,” with a proposal for a Hindu temple and cultural center that was quickly and unanimously approved.

The worship and cultural center will be located at 25 Research Drive, includes a priest who will live on site and will see the bulk of its traffic on Sundays, although it will be open on weekdays.

Accompanying Lynch in the audience at City Hall were about 50 people in favor of the project. No one spoke against the temple plan.

Lynch sought a special exception/site plan review because the building is located in a light industrial zone on 1.77 acres. No changes would be made to the outside of the building, he said.

“My clients are excited to add to the cultural diversity of Milford,” he told the board.

He said “peace, harmony, community service” are a thrust of the religion.

Lynch said there will likely be 10-15 people in attendance on weekdays, the busiest time being Sunday from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. with about 100-125 attending assembly, followed by cultural activities for various age groups and culminating in a dinner served to promote family values. He said there will also be special community events such as walkathons and career fairs.

Lynch told the board that the use meets the “spirit of the regulations” and is in harmony with other uses in that area, including a Turkish Center on Research Drive approved two years ago, whom he represented.

After a few questions about traffic in the area, the PZB unanimously approved the application.

Lynch, a veteran land use specialist who often appears before the board, has become known in recent years for representing clients seeking to build affordable housing under the state’s controversial 8-30g housing statute. Those applications often draw hundreds of residents in opposition, create heated court appeals and bring out legislators who have been trying — without much success — to close what they consider a loophole in the housing laws.