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Residents to Appeal Plan for Monastery

Some residents apparently are not satisfied by reassurances from members of the Myanmar Buddhist Society that a meditation center and monastery proposed for their community would be a place of quiet.

A community group says it will appeal a Planning Commission decision giving the group permission to build the 5-acre retreat.

“It is all those cars coming and going that concern me,” said Georgia Campbell, who lives on the hilltop above the site.

In addition to drop-in meditators, she said, there would be celebrations throughout the year that would draw large crowds and create noise.

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Tin Htoon, the applicant, tried to satisfy residents’ concerns about noise at a hearing last month, explaining that the center’s purpose would be for meditation and that there would not be regular services.

Furthermore, loud noise at monasteries is strictly prohibited by Buddhist law, Htoon said. “This is going to be a quiet place where people can reflect on the teaching of Buddha.”

A diverse group of religious leaders, which included Catholics, Mormons, Buddhists and one Sikh guru, spoke at the hearing in favor of the project.

“In such violent times, this community will be blessed to have this monastery,” said Havanpola Ratanasara, president of the American Buddhist Congress, “because wherever we go we carry with us the message of peace and harmony.”

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The City Council will consider the project at its meeting at 6:30 p.m. March 4 in City Hall, 4845 Casa Loma Ave. Information: (714) 961-7100.


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