Greenfield Plan Commission debates Buddhist temple proposal

GREENFIELD -- Plans to build a Buddhist temple in Greenfield were debated during a Greenfield Planning Commission meeting Tuesday, September 11th -- and the proposal is not getting the green light.

The Phuoc Hau Buddhist Temple has worshipped at 1575 W. Oklahoma Ave. for 15 years. Temple members want to build an 8,100-square-foot temple on 1.5 acres at S. 44th St. and W. Edgerton Ave.

"The (current) building wasn`t designed for the temple, so we have a lot of small rooms. We think that area fits our needs -- very quiet, very nice people, so I think that is the best choice and also it fits to our budget," Andy Tram with the Buddhist Temple of Milwaukee said.

Nearby residents complain the building is too large for the site and have expressed traffic concerns.

"It's a residential lot. It's an acre, which is what they own. They want to build a 8,100-square-foot temple on an acre. It's the size. It's huge and it doesn't fit the lot. It will bring more traffic for sure," Greenfield Mayor Michael Nietzke said.

The $850,000 project would require the city to vacate a half-acre portion of S. 44th St., which would be combined with the acre the temple already owns. It would also require a change in zoning, from residential to institutional, and an amendment to the city's master plan.

Mayor Nietzke worries about vacating that half-acre.

"I think the Planning Commission agreed that it`s a good idea to keep that there because there`s a huge storm sewer in it -- a huge water main that is going to go through it. In 2014 when Edgerton gets improved, there`s going to be a walkway to connect the neighborhood to the south with the park," Nietzke said.

Temple officials say they plan to scale down their proposal and make plans for parking.

If approved, ground would be broken on the temple in summer 2013.

The group first proposed a temple at the site in 2010 but withdrew its application, in part because of neighborhood opposition.

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