Milpitas: Religious assembly project appealed

An appeal has been filed against the Milpitas Planning Commission’s decision to allow a Muslim faith organization to relocate from its site of nearly 30 years near the Great Mall to a part of town zoned for industrial uses that include high-tech.

On Oct. 25, the Planning Commission approved the Ismaili Cultural Center’s conditional use permit to operate as an assembly inside an industrial building with shared parking at 691 S. Milpitas Blvd., east of Gibraltar Drive.

But before the vote, Eric Clapp, a vice president with El Segundo-based CTC Property LLC, objected to the move. His firm redeveloped the campus of the now defunct medical equipment supplier Lifescan, which closed on the 1000 block of South Milpitas Boulevard a few years ago,

Clapp said his firm invested more than $10 million for a future high-tech campus at the former Lifescan property to “try to bring a world-class employer into your city.”

That may not be possible with a religious facility next door, he added.

“There is a concern that when you allow an assembly use into an area like this that it can drive away some companies,” Clapp said, adding that a future chip manufacturer — where hazardous materials may be used — is considering a move into the former Lifescan site. “And it’s important for us really to think about those things now…I hope that (Ismaili) can find a place in Milpitas, but I’m concerned that there’s a risk with that.”

On Friday, Adrienne Smith, an associate planner, told the Post via email that Clapp’s company filed the appeal on Nov. 6. She said the City Council’s appeal hearing on the matter is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 19.

In its written appeal, CTC Property states it is “strongly opposed to allowing religious uses in the industrial areas of Milpitas; and especially in close proximity …read more

Source:: The Mercury News

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