Buddhist temple plans withdrawn in Johnson County

By BRAD COOPER, The Kansas City Star, Apr 8, 2011

A controversial proposal to build a Buddhist temple west of Olathe has been scrapped

Johnson County, Kansas (USA) -- Johnson County planners announced Friday that an application seeking to build the temple on 14 acres at 29600 W. 119th St. had been withdrawn because there wasn’t enough water pressure to serve the site.

The proposal by the Lao Buddhist Association of Olathe drew intense opposition from area residents who complained the project would increase traffic and disrupt their country lifestyles, among other things.

More than a hundred people had turned out to oppose the project on a couple of occasions.

The Northwest Consolidated Zoning Board voted to deny the application on Jan. 24, but the Johnson County Commission voted in February to send the matter back to the zoning board for further review.

The zoning board renewed discussions about the project and more meetings were scheduled for this month.

Developers said they were first told in November by Rural Water District 6 that there was enough water pressure for the project. A further examination by the water district found that there wasn’t enough pressure for the site.

“This is extremely frustrating, particularly after the applicant has spent an extraordinary amount of time and expense to prepare drawings, make revisions and attend multiple hearings,” according to a letter from the developers released by the county.

“To learn of this issue now after having worked on the project for well over six months, makes this decision extremely difficult. We continue to believe the application otherwise meets all of the requirements of the county necessary for approval of the project,” said the letter from Mark Curfman, principal of Urban Architecture Studio.