Virginia Beach Deputy City Attorney William Macali says, the permit requirement is not exclusive to Buddhists.
"Whether it's a church, a Buddhist temple, synagogue, mosque any religious use, needs a conditional use permit," Macali says.
The ordinance has actually been on the books since the 1970's. And Macali says there's no need for alarm, since the 1970's enforcement has been discretionary. He say permits are not ALWAYS required.
For example, "if I wanted to have people over every week to read the Bible, things like that, I don't think so. But if regular services are conducted, and it would be things like frequency and intensity. It's a very gray area," according to Macali.
Palmer notes that local governments often use discretion in allowing permits. "If something is a problem, they administer the law. If it isn't, they tend to overlook it. But of course, this may deserve some closer look," Palmer says.