Buddhists and Agriculturalists Debate about Zoning in Mendocino, California

October 23, 2002

Source: The Press Democrat


On October 23, 2002 The Press Democrat reported that "Mendocino County supervisors Tuesday tentatively approved a controversial expansion of the 'City of 10,000 Buddhas' after a spirited debate on preserving agricultural land. The Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 after imposing new conditions on the $60 million project to build the International Institute of Philosophy and Ethics on the temple's property in Talmage. The supervisors voted after a seven-hour public hearing in which the proponents mostly focused on promoting the educational, cultural and economic benefits of the project. Opponents, who organized as the Friends of Agriculture and Biodiversity, lamented the loss of farmland and open space and urged the board to downsize and relocate the institute to another site on the property. The Buddhist association revised the plan several times and received the county Planning Commission's approval in May after four public hearings. At that time, the Buddhist organization had cut the size of the project by half. It also agreed to keep buildings at least 600 feet from the eastern property line and 1,200 feet from the north, and to restrict the use of those buffer zones for agriculture only. It also promised to give $226,500 to a land trust for preserving agricultural land in the Ukiah Valley."