Judge Rejects Buddhist Temple Plans in Newtown

December 2, 2005

Source: MSNBC/The News-Times Online


On December 2, 2005 The News-Times Online reported, "Since 1999, the Cambodian Buddhist Society of Connecticut has owned a small, white farmhouse on Boggs Hill Road... In 2003, the Newtown planning and zoning commission rejected the Buddhist group's plan to build a 7,600 square-foot temple, citing concerns about traffic and noise in a residential area. Several neighbors objected to the project, voicing similar objections. The farm house currently attracts perhaps a dozen people at a time for services. A new temple, the Buddhist group said, could attract about 450 people per day on weekends. The Buddhist group filed a lawsuit shortly after the commission's decision, claiming it violated the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act... On Nov. 18, Danbury Superior Court Judge Deborah Kochiss Frankel rejected the Buddhist Society's appeal. She said there was no evidence that Newtown's intent was to interfere with the society's free exercise of religion... Attorney Marvin Bellis, an attorney representing the Buddhist group, said he will meet with members this week to decide what happens next. He said the group still has hope it can build the temple. There is no other building within the state that could accommodate Buddhists from across Connecticut, he said."