A new Muslim cemetery, mosque and cultural center project in San Martin was green-lighted by the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors following an appeal hearing in the board chambers Tuesday.
The South Valley Islamic Center won its case for its worship, congregation and burial facilities project — a 15.8-acre development called the Cordoba Center at 14045 Monterey Road, San Martin — after other local interests appealed to the board against the project’s approval at an Aug. 22 county Planning Commission meeting.
The San Martin Neighborhood Alliance wrote in an appeal letter to the Board of Supervisors their position against the approval of the project, asking instead for the board to approve a smaller version of the project about half the size.
The neighborhood association wrote:
“Your appointed Planning Commissioners failed to adhere to the (San Martin) General Plan. Instead, your Planning Commissioners approved a project; for the unincorporated rural residential community of San Martin, with inappropriate measures, overriding considerations, and which fundamentally violates the General Plan.”
The association wrote:
“The SMNA Board of Directors supports the Cordoba Project with a (50-percent) reduction in size, scale and intensity, along with relocation of all ridgeline components of the project.”
An attorney for the neighborhood organization asked the board for another continuance for the project’s approval Tuesday, which was then denied by the board without objection.
A second appellant, the People’s Coalition For Government Accountability in Gilroy, was not present at Tuesday’s hearing.
The project’s applicants told the board Tuesday they had previously been worshipping in a barn opened to them by a good Samaritan neighbor for years leading up to the new project, and had been burying their loved ones in the nearest Islamic cemetery in Livermore.
With new facilities, they would have a new home of worship in their immediate vicinity.
Following the public appeal hearing, the board voted unanimously to approve the project after Supervisor Mike Wasserman moved to deny both appeals.
Wasserman said Tuesday:
“This has been a journey filled with differences of opinions, but at the end of the day, the project before us shows both sides have been listened to and respected.”
“Both sides have made compromises, and the resulting density and intensity is appropriate and lawful for this particular site.”