Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors Says Sufi Complex Can Go Forward

KQED's Stephanie Martin reports that the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors unanimously denied appeals of the Planning Commission's approval of a planned 66,000-square-foot complex by Sufism Reoriented in a quiet residential area just outside Walnut Creek.

Some minor language changes were made to clarify aspects of the parking code, Martin says.

Supporters gave the board a standing ovation after the vote.

"This is probably one of the happiest days of my life,” said sanctuary project director Bob Carpenter. “We appreciate the work the board did on it. And while it took a long, long time and there were frustrating moments, they did an excellent job.”

Patricia Perry, a member of the Saranap Homeowners Organization, wasn't so sanguine. “I know that some people are considering litigation. I can’t say what will go forward and what won’t, but I can speak for myself: You can be absolutely sure that these applicants will adhere to what they promised the county."

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That sentiment reflects the considerble tension that had built over the proposal within the community, with charges of religious bigotry being levied by some supporters of the project. Opponents, for their part, said their beef had nothing to do with religion and everything to do with land use and parking.

Those charges and counter-charges are on display in some of the comments on the issue that we've received over the last week...