By Ken MacLeod

GROTON (CBS) — In the shadow of farm stands and wetlands, Barbara Dunn said concern over a proposal to build the 10,000 square foot Shri Shirdee Sai Baba Temple is not about religion.

“I don’t care what their religion is, everyone is entitled to their own opinion,” Dunn said. “I thought about the size of it, the parking and the cars and the problems it’s going to create. There is already a problem on that road with traffic.”

Proposed Hindu temple in Groton.

Proposed Hindu temple in Groton.

Dunn was fine with the Hindu worshipers bid to be her neighbor on the 28 acres of swampy woods along the Groton-Littleton line until she saw the rendering.

The proposed temple has an 80 foot domed tower, a prayer hall for 400 and 200 parking spaces.

“I was like ‘oh my God, I didn’t realize it was going to be that big,'” Dunn said. “It’s not about religion, it’s about the size.”

The group says it has outgrown their rental digs in Chelmsford, fueling a $3 million move to a more peaceful setting.

Leaders are pledging a sit-down with worried prospective neighbors in the next few weeks and are vowing to be a force for faith and tolerance in their new community.

A Mormon church was built several years ago just down Route 119 and raised many of the same aesthetic and traffic concerns.

Still, residents know some critics will tag them as bigots — even as they insist it’s size that matters here.


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