San Jose: Proposed Buddhist temple in Evergreen neighborhood met with backlash

A proposed Buddhist temple in San Jose’s Evergreen neighborhood sparked a contentious, nearly two-hour meeting at the Village Square Branch Library Thursday night.

Around 150 residents gathered at a monthly District 8 Community Roundtable meeting to hear presentations and ask questions about the Wat Khmer Kampuchea Krom temple, planned to be developed on 1.86 acres at 2740 Ruby Ave. Dozens from the community took turns heatedly voicing their concerns.

The traditional Cambodian Buddhist Temple would serve its Khmer Krom members, a population from the ethnic Cambodian region of Southern Vietnam, many of whom fled and sought asylum in the U.S. after the Vietnam War and Cambodian Genocide. They currently worship in a small home not far from the Ruby Avenue location.

Lyna Lam, Wat Khmer Kampuchea Krom founder and executive director, envisions the temple to be a peaceful and reflective place with lots of open space and gardens. She said plans were designed to fit within the surrounding community.

“I think we’ve struck a balance to create a beautiful temple that the neighborhood can be proud of,” Lam said. “We want to be proud of the neighborhood as well; we want to coexist with the neighbors.”

Khmer community in San Jose California need your help to make this temple possible

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