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NORCO, Calif. – A Southern California city has rejected plans for a proposed Hindu cultural center partly because officials say the large, domed building doesn't fit in with its Old West-style motif.
The decision last month by the city of Norco has riled some Indian-Americans who say the move was discriminatory.
Norco officials say the city has branded itself as "Horsetown USA" to preserve a rural feel and draw much-needed investments in equestrian facilities. They say the proposed cultural center was too big for a small lot and didn't match the city's architectural style.
The controversy has focused attention on a small but growing Indian-American community in the suburbs south and east of Los Angeles and efforts by Norco to keep its cowboy culture as Southern California becomes increasingly diverse.