Welcome to WWW.CHESTERSPRINGS-TEMPLE.COM

ACMEC of North America, a regional version of ACMEC India (religious Hindu group with 20,000,000 devotees), wants to build a 35,000 sq ft (one story, 55ft high steeple) temple complex in Chester Springs, PA and is planning "expansion in the years to come".
Here you can find a list of known concerns.

Please send an email to neighbors@chestersprings-temple.com and we will add you to the distribution list. Right now there are 124 neighbors on the list.

Please give us your SUPPORT! We need people to show concern – if built,
THIS TEMPLE WILL AFFECT ALL OF OUR LIVES!

You are visitor number   since Nov 10th 2007. (To open linked documents you need freeware Adobe Reader).
This website was updated February 5th 2011 and is owned and maintained by residents of Chester Springs, PA.

The History (all underlined text is linked to documents)

Feb 4th 2011 Article - West Pikeland settles with Hindu sect
Feb 3rd 2011 Motion to settle ACMEC litigation
Jul 4th 2010 ACMEC guru caught in IT (income tax) raid - $1.97m in cash + gold found in his bedroom
Jun 23rd 2010 Court ruling on ACMEC
Apr 17th 2009 ACMEC is suing our Township in FEDERAL COURT in Philadelphia, claiming violation of their 1st and 14th Amendment rights as well as claiming that they are being prevented from "practicing their religion" under RLUIPA (the “Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act”). Here you can find the full document.
ACMEC has two attorneys, Mr. Lipow and the "Specialty RLUIPA" firm TOMKIW DALTON, from Royal Oaks, Michigan.
The Township has been granted a 30 extension before they must "answer" this complaint. (That will be June 9).
Mar 16th 2009 The supervisors presented their decision paper. The decision order you can find here.
Feb 23rd 2009 Fronefield Crawford's memorandum to the supervisors you can find here.
Jan 15th 2009 The last Conditional User Hearing took place on Thursday, January 15th. Here you can find the transcript.
The Executive Committee of the West Pikeland Land Trust has considered the application and has done a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors to deny the application.  Here you can find their opinion letter.
Jan 8th 2009 The 7th hearing took place. Green Valley Associates made a statement requesting supervisors deny the application on watershed issues and were asked to provide sworn testimony in the next session on Jan 15th. Here you can find the transcript.
Dec 18th 2008 The 6th hearing took place. Here you can find the transcript.
Dec 4th 2008 The 5th Public Hearing (3.5 hours, around 40 neighbors) took place and covered a cross-examinations of neighbors engineer and neighbors landscape expert. It became obvious that the ACMEC application is violating the Zoning Ordinance in many ways (deed restrictions from Oct 12th 1998) and the provided calculation of necessary parking spaces (around 100) based only on the auxiliary building size will not cover the real demand. Here you can find the transcript.
Nov 25th 2008 The fourth Public Hearing took place. Sue and Larry's engineer explained concerns regarding the temple project.
Around 45 neighbors participated. Here you can find the transcript.
Nov 5th 2008 The third Hearing took place and Sriram (ACMEC official) had to answer questions. One topic was the size of the temple. He was confronted with a former application of ACMEC for a 5,000 sq ft temple back in 2001 by Larry and Sue's lawyer. ACMEC is still applying for a more than 5 time larger temple. Here you can find the transcript.
Oct 21st 2008 The second Hearing took place. Here you can see the transcript.
Aug 31st 2008 ACMEC celebrated the annual Adhipooram Festival in Chester Springs. ACMEC hired FTA to count cars. FTA has provided a rough number of participants (150-175 cars with 2-3 people makes around 406 participants). FTA will provide final numbers later.
Aug 19th 2008 The first hearing in front of all township supervisors, around 25 ACMEC members, and many neighbors took place.
Mr. Lipow (ACMEC lawyer) has send a memorandum why our supervisors can NOT deny the ACMEC application.

Here you can see the transcript of that hearing.
Aug 15th 2008 Township engineers - 4th review of ACMEC application
Jul 18th 2008 In Readington, NJ a temple application (similar to the Chester Springs temple) was denied by the township after 2.5 years.
Jul 10th 2008 ACMEC engineers - Updated Development Plan
Jun 30th 2008 Aqua Terra - Bog Turtle Survey Report (There are probably no Bog Turtles on the ACMEC property.)
Jun 5th 2008 ACMEC engineers - Response Letter
May 16th 2008 Township engineers - Traffic Review
May 12th 2008 At the Planning Commission meeting the commission, representatives of ACMEC (lawyer and engineers) and around 40 neighbors discussed the temple application for more than 2 hours. After the meeting ALL Planning Commission members DENIED to recommend this project to the Board of Supervisors as a Conditional Use.
May 9th 2008 Township engineers - Hydrogeologic review of the ACMEC application
May 8th 2008 Township engineers - 3rd review of ACMEC application
Apr 24th 2008 ACMEC has updated the temple plan again. Here you can find the latest documents:
Yerkes response regarding township engineers comments, Spring House Pre-Application Meeting, Hydrogeologic Evaluation, Ridgeline Protection Narrative, Historic Commission Letter, Traffic Study Additions
Apr 16th 2008 Historical commission - "barn"...is "worthy of preservation and protection"
Apr 10th 2008 Aqua-Terra report
Mar 24th 2008 Township engineers (Gilmore Associates) response on application.
Feb 4th 2008 ACMEC filed new application. A conditional use primer of the township you can find here.
Dec 17th 2007 ACMEC was WITHDRAWING their application for Conditional Use
Dec 15th 2007 28 neighbors met for 2 hours at Montgomery School and discussed numerous concerns and options
Nov 20th 2007 Conditional Use Hearing was cancelled. The ACMEC lawyer is completing required documents.
2007 Township Planning Commission: minutes Jul.9th, minutes Aug13th, minutes Sept.10th, minutes Oct.1st
May 29th 2007 Evans Mill - Environmental Review
Apr 2007 ACMEC provides a temple site plan to Westpikeland Planning Commission
Nov 2006 ACMEC announced: "We should be able to complete the construction of the temple complex by end of July, 2007.." and "We will leave enough space around the temple for expansion in the years to come."
Aug 2005 ACMEC could collect $149,000 and is asking all devotees for additional $110,000 to finalize the first phase of the temple project (driveway + minor updates on the farm house)
Nov 30th 2004 ACMEC got permit for low volume driveway by PENNDOT
Jan 22nd 2002 Decision of Westpikeland Zoning Board: permit of worships within the existing farmhouse, but no further increase of the scope of the activities  
Sep 25th 2001 Muthu (ACMEC board member) testified. Here you can find the transcript.
Sep 3rd 2001 ACMEC Guru Bangari Adigalar laid foundation in Chester Springs of the first Sakthi Peetam Temple outside of India
Aug 18th 2001 Hindu festival on property (copyright: Philadelphia Inquirer), Another article about the Guru.
Aug 24th 2000 Numerous concerns of neighbors
Jun 29th 2000 ACMEC applied for a 10,000 sq ft temple building + 63 parking spaces on 1459 Conestoga Road (attorney letter)
Jan 20th 2000 Sriram Adhimoolam sold the property to ACMEC for $445,750
Dec 23rd 1998 Sriram Adhimoolam (later visible as member of ACMEC) acquired the former Wilson Farm (24.5 acres) on 1459 Conestoga Road, Chester Springs PA for $425,000
Oct 12th 1998 Previous Development Plan
  "Many years ago Amma told the devotees in America that S/He would make the first trip to the US when they bought a piece of land. A group of devotees from New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania got together and purchased some land in Chester Springs Pennsylvania..."