Garden Grove Buddhist Temple, City Make Their Case

October 20, 2006

Author: Deepa Bharath

Source: Orange County Register

A federal court judge heard arguments Monday from attorneys for a Garden Grove Buddhist temple and the city, but did not rule on whether the temple could temporarily hold services.

Judge Cormac J. Carney had suggested last month that the city and Quan Am Buddhist temple officials work together to find a compromise that would allow the temple to conduct limited religious activities at its Chapman Avenue location until legal issues between the two entities are resolved.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit against the city in August challenging the constitutionality of the city's zoning code.

The Planning Commission and City Council have denied requests by the temple to rezone its property from "office or professional" to "residential." The injunction came back to court Monday because the city and the temple had failed to reach an agreement.

Lois Bobak, an attorney representing the city, said the temple's abbot bought the nearly $2 million property based on "loose assurances" from some council members that the City Council would likely approve the temple's proposal.