The San Jose City Council last week approved the construction of the Buddhist temple planned by the Cambodian community. Many of those present at the council meeting, which included a dozen Buddhist monks, burst into applause. Members of the Buddhist community had been working for years to get the temple approved, as many local residents had opposed the project.
"It's just pure joy for the whole community of Cambodians," said Lyna Lam of the A Khmer Buddhist Foundation. (ABC News 7)
Local residents present at the meeting who were opposed to the temple project expressed concerns about traffic and the character of the neighborhood, fearing that the large Buddhist temple would cause unwanted noise in the area.
"Our neighborhood is actually very diverse and very welcoming, there's no racism, there's no hatred towards a temple or a church or anything like that. In fact, we welcome it,” said Damien Maker, who lives across from the proposed temple site. "We're a very quiet neighborhood and we just want to keep it that's all we're looking to do. » (Spotlight on San Jose)
Another neighbor compared the temple to a commercial facility, saying, “It's just not compatible with the area. I know, Mr. Mayor, you ran on a platform of common sense, and it's just not common sense to have a large commercial facility in a neighborhood like this. (ABC News 7)
According to temple plans, regular meditation and chanting meetings should attract 20 to 50 visitors. Nonetheless, the temple is permitted to have up to 300 visitors onsite for special events. Eight monks will live on the property.
Council member Domingo Candelas, who represents the neighborhood where the temple is being built, noted that the city has placed about 40 conditions on the project to ensure it remains neighborhood-friendly. These included traffic control and security measures for larger events, as well as reduced regular opening hours, from 9 a.m. to 22 p.m.
“It is time that we do the right thing after four years of work, contributions, project changes, community discussions and give space to the community to worship and heal from the horrible traumas they have endured,” Candelas said. (Spotlight on San Jose)
The temple will be located in the Evergreen district in the southeast corner of the city. When completed, it will be the largest Buddhist temple in the Bay Area, which includes San Francisco and Oakland to the north. It will also provide a community center open to all and a home for the growing Cambodian community in the area.
"It's not just a religion for us, but it's a way of life," said Lam, who helped fund the new temple. (ABC News 7)
The 1 square meter structure has been planned for four years.
"As you see here, we call it a temple but it's just one house because we don't have any other place," said monk Saduol Son. He added that the congregation needed more space and that the temple was necessary for the Buddhist monks to carry out their way of life: "Not only a sacred place of worship, but a capital of education, for our people. , culture and language of customs”. (4 crowns)
Lam agreed that the Cambodian Buddhist community has outgrown the spaces where they currently meet. Several of them are converted houses, which cannot provide sufficient worship space for large gatherings.
“The function of the temple is to preserve, teach and practice our religion,” Lam added. (ABC News 7)
Lam and others associated with the temple assured local residents that they would continue to work closely with everyone in the neighborhood to ensure a harmonious relationship. Additionally, she and others emphasized that the temple would not be just for existing members of the Cambodian Buddhist community.
" Everyone is welcome. It's like that now and it will be like that then,” Lam said. (ABC News 7)