Vietnamese Buddhist temple gets use permit

by Ari Cohn, East Valley Tribune, September 11, 2009

Chandler, AZ (USA) -- A Vietnamese Buddhist temple nestled in a north Chandler neighborhood received a permit from the City Council Thursday to resume Sunday worship services.

The city had barred the temple in a single-family home at 285 N. Comanche Drive in a residential neighborhood near Alma School Road and Chandler Boulevard from holding the services for more than three months.

The move came after city inspectors discovered several building code violations at the temple during an investigation into complaints from neighbors about parking.

The roughly 100-member congregation, which includes people of all ages, from families with young children to the elderly, has begun looking for a new, larger location in Chandler or Tempe, according to a temple spokesman.

The three Buddhist nuns who live at the existing temple have taken vows of poverty and subsist entirely on donations. The temple would be limited to 49 people on site at any one time, because of building occupancy codes, city officials have said.