Zoning Controversy Over Buddhist Temple in San Francisco

September 9, 2004

Source: The San Francisco Chronicle


On September 9, 2004 The San Francisco Chronicle reported, "religion is at the center of a classic San Francisco land-use fight, where a developer hires politically-connected permit consultant Walter Wong to gain approval for a much bigger building than would otherwise be allowed, while the foes tap Wong's frequent nemeses, growth-control lawyers Sue Hestor and Stephen Williams. Wong's client is a small Buddhist temple on Van Ness Avenue that wants to expand. The opponents include St. Luke's Episcopal Church, whose leaders say the expanded temple will cast their stained glass windows in shadow... Church leaders and nearby condominium owners say the American Buddhist Cultural Temple, whose expansion proposal comes before the San Francisco Planning Commission today has failed to work with its neighbors to minimize negative impacts or given them enough information and time to respond to the development plans."