Public meetings scheduled on Cordoba Center

Planning Commission to consider project approval May 23

The Cordoba Center, a mosque and community center in unincorporated San Martin, is moving toward another round of public hearings after county staff reviewed an environmental study of the project. Several community input sessions are scheduled throughout Santa Clara County in coming weeks.

The first meeting will be a study session and community outreach meeting held May 2, with the Planning Commission and San Martin Planning Advisory Committee at the Morgan Hill Community and Cultural Center, 17000 Monterey Rd.

The next will be May 16 at the Morgan Hill community center (located next door to the CCC), with a public hearing to provide recommendations to the San Martin Planning Advisory Committee. A public hearing with the planning commission will be held May 23 at the Board of Supervisors’ Chambers in the County Government Center.

At the May 23 meeting, the planning commission will consider approving the Cordoba Center’s use permit, architecture and site approval, grading, design review, environmental impact report and other permits. County staff are likely to present their recommendations on the project prior to the planning commission meeting.

These meetings are the next step in a project that has been in the works for several years. The South Valley Islamic Community bought the property at Monterey Road and California Avenue in 2006, and brought plans for a mosque and community center before the county supervisors in 2012.

The original plans were withdrawn following community backlash, but a new plan that called for a mosque, a community building, recreational facilities, a cemetery and a summer camp site, among other amenities, was proposed and a Draft Environmental Impact Report was published in July 2018.

Some residents in the San Martin community and in neighboring South County cities Gilroy and Morgan Hill have continuously opposed the project. Critics worry that the proposed project is too large for the area, and will be significantly larger than most other developments in San Martin. The San Martin Neighborhood Alliance has consistently spoken out against the Cordoba Center, citing flooding and traffic as a main concern.

Other residents, including a wide range of South County religious clergy, have supported the Cordoba Center project.

The center is proposed to be built on Monterey Road near Llagas Creek, on the highest point in San Martin, an unincorporated community has about 7,000 residents.  The Cordoba Center would serve as the worship center for the entire South Valley Islamic Community. The group has been meeting in a refurbished barn in San Martin for several years.

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