ToneToneJune 17, 20105min540

Friends continue the discussion.


Friend: Yes, I heard the model was so beautiful. It’s a smaller version of Singapore Burmese Temple, a unique Burmese cultural piece by a talented architect.

Friend: That’s also part of the reason. You have to look at it, from the neighbors’ angle. Not from your own angle.

The neighbors didn’t like more noise or traffic.

Food for one, but Poison for another

To us, it’s a unique cultural piece, something to be proud of.

To them, it’s a threat. It’s a theme magnet, likely to attract “lookey loos” and more traffic and noise which to them, might threaten their “peaceful and serene” environment.
Friend: Yes, I see now.

Church location

Friend: In America, they have rules and are more disciplined. Churches are allowed on commercial zones, but not on Residential zones. To locate in a residential area, you need to apply for a Conditional Use Permit.

Unlike Burma, resident neighbors have a right to deny a Church coming to their area.

A church must stay within its bounds and rules.

Angry Neighbors

Friend: Well, the failed application was not the end of the story. The neighbors got organized. They set out on a warpath with a vengeance.

They videoed the Temple attendees from the upper floors.
They complained often to the City and the Police. They patrolled the curbs! They became more belligerent and confrontational.

Knock out punch

Because of complaints, the City finally issued the Temple a STOP ORDER.

Friend: That’s a KNOCK OUT punch!

Friend: I see! In this case, the application hearing unwittingly caused the Temple to stop all its functions. No festivals meant no donation incomes.

In this dire situation, how did the Temple pay its mortgage?

Monthly Pledges
Friend: To avoid bank foreclosure, my friend organized “monthly pledges” to pay the monthly mortgage. The treasurer brought the loan amount down to a manageable level.

That’s not all!

That’s not all! The City demanded that Azusa Temple complete the long delayed parking lot. Doing a Parking lot for an inactive Temple?

“Double whammy.” A really  desperate situation, indeed!

That’s why, my friend was very regretful. He did it with good intentions. Somehow, it exploded. Nobody foresaw this! It spiraled out of control.

Friend: It hurt so bad to the point of closure.  All operations stopped!
Everybody was so sad and upset.

(The following pictures might convey the solemn mood at the time)