In Garden Grove, Buddhists Permitted to Pray in Disputed Building but Must Live Elsewhere

August 31, 2006

Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune

Wire Service: AP

On August 31, 2006 the Associated Press reported, "Members of a Vietnamese Buddhist temple may temporarily hold religious services at a medical building despite the city of Garden Grove's objections over traffic and noise, a federal judge has ruled. U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney made the temporary compromise Wednesday and asked both sides to forge an agreement on how the Buddhists can use the building they already own. If no agreement is reached by Friday, Carney said he'll set a hearing on the temple's request for an injunction to stop the city from enforcing its zoning laws.

An attorney for the city, Lois Bobak, said she doesn't object to negotiating with the plaintiffs, but stressed that the city would not allow leaders of the Quan Am Temple to live on the property.

This month the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit on behalf of the temple, alleging city leaders had violated its constitutional rights by barring assemblies at the building.

The temple bought the building on 1.8 acres using a $1.95 million loan from a worshipper, but the city repeatedly refused to adjust its zoning code so that a religious institution can be built on the plot, the lawsuit said."