Mosque project too big for San Martin

The Morgan Hill Times article dated April 26, 2018 (“Moque project to face public review by summer”) is one-sided. The quote from the mother of the bullied student, who admits that the problem had been resolved a year ago, just instilled more negativity and caused dystopia.

Throughout history there is documented ill will. Concerning the Cordoba project (Mosque) in San Martin, not all who make threatening comments are from the “Muslims Go Home” side. I too have felt threatened by comments voiced to me. Was it because I am from San Martin? Was I singled out because I am a woman? Regardless, it was unacceptable, and caused angst.

But I am tired of the fear mongering and accusations against the residents of San Martin, from people who don’t have a clear understanding about this unincorporated village.

People are so quick to judge, cast the first stone and accuse others of being anti-Muslim or xenophobic. However, there were no cries of racism, or anti-Baptist slurs when the county denied the application (for the same parcel) years prior to  the Cordoba project application. The county denied it based on zoning.

The county has since updated its zoning code, and there are many facts to be considered from all sides of the spectrum.

The comment that “County planners have told the residents that the county cannot legally reject a project based on the religion of those who proposed it” is very condescending and offensive.  San Martin residents are not ignorant, and have stood firm on the fact that “Size Matters” in San Martin.

The following are just a few serious concerns related to the Cordoba project:

  1. This project defies the guidelines of the Santa Clara County San Martin Integrated Design Plan;
  2. It is in very close proximity to Llagas Creek;
  3. There have been years of poor percolation testing, and the parcel floods southwest to Harding Avenue;
  4. The existing curve of Monterey Road, may necessitate the need for turning lanes and possible traffic signals;
  5.  San Martin does not have the community resources that a city has—most residents are entirely dependent upon private wells for potable water (drinking and bathing), and according to the World Health Organization guidelines, entirely too close for a proposed cemetery;
  6.  There would be excessive lighting at night for a development of this magnitude, which would affect wildlife.

There was a reason the county established the San Martin Integrated Design Plan for San Martin. Yet, for years, our voices to protect this unique rural community have fallen on deaf ears.  Many thanks to San Martin Neighborhood Alliance, there is finally dialogue with the county, and the San Martin community has gained some respect.

A South County traffic study is just underway, but will take a couple years to complete, so it is unknown how traffic will be impacted with a development of this magnitude.

The article quotes plans “designed to accommodate up to’300 people at a time,” but claims there are presently 400 members of the South Valley Islamic Community who proposed the Cordoba project. In 2006-07, I had a discussion with Bill Shoe from the county planning office about the Cordoba Center application. He said the application on file was for a 25,000-square-foot development, and it was denied because of the project size. Those plans were to serve worshipers from the North Bay to San Benito County.

I do believe Size Matters in San Martin. Illustrations of the proposed Cordoba project, although lovely, show a facility that is much larger than any existing religious institutions in San Martin.

Connie Ludewig

San Martin

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