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July 30. 2014 11:38PM

Buddhist temple plan in Peterborough advances

PETERBOROUGH — A plan for a Buddhist temple on Temple Mountain is expected to come before the Peterborough Planning Board in September.

The proposed 3,200 square foot temple would accommodate up to 75 people for mostly Sunday prayer meetings and up to 20 people for week-long retreats.

Recently, the Zoning Board of Adjustment granted a special exception that allows for a religious institution in the rural district and a variance to build within the 50-foot Wetland Overlay Protection Zone.

In its decision, the zoning board said in regards to the wetlands, “the man-made ditch is a low functioning wetlands, according to the Conservation Commission.”

The Buddhist temple, to be named the Bao Chon Temple, would be built on an 11-acre property on Route 101 where the Temple Mountain Buddhist Meditation Center is already located.

The current meditation center is located in a three-bedroom house on Route 101 near Miller State Park and the former Temple Mountain Ski Area.

The house’s garage would be torn down to make way for the temple.

Vietnamese Buddhist monks have lived at the center and run it since 2011.

Back then, the Temple Mountain Buddhist Meditation Center was granted a special exception permitting a religious use in the rural district.

In its 2011 approval, the zoning board limited meditation service attendance to 30 people and 16 vehicles and prohibited the center to operate as an overnight retreat.

Plans for the new temple include widening the driveway.

Though attendance is expected to increase, only about 19 vehicles are expected on Sundays, which is less traffic than Miller State Park or the Temple Mountain Ski Area sees, the zoning board said in its decision.


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