Tem­ple de­vel­op­ers back with new plan

Ti­betan Bud­dhist tem­ple pro­posers schedule an open house for the pub­lic on Nov. 9

The Peterborough Examiner - - LOCAL - SARAH SOBANSKI KAWARTHA LAKES THIS WEEK

JANETVILLE — A Man­vers Tow­ship-area tem­ple pro­posal has re­turned to Kawartha Lakes city staff three years after de­vel­op­ers were sent back to the draw­ing board fol­low­ing a pub­lic meet­ing.

The Ri­woche So­ci­ety is plan­ning an ed­u­ca­tion cen­tre and tem­ple for their 40.5-hectare prop­erty at 344 Old Mill Rd. near Janetville. The so­ci­ety first hosted a pub­lic meet­ing on the de­vel­op­ment in 2016.

This tem­ple has no con­nec­tion to the Cham Shan Tem­ple near Bethany.

Richard Holy, plan­ning manager for the City of Kawartha Lakes, said “res­i­dents ex­pressed con­cerns to in­creased traf­fic, noise, dust, the qual­ity of the road, road flood­ing, fu­ture uses and num­bers of at­ten­dees, other tem­ple lo­ca­tions, well mon­i­tor­ing, eco­nomic ben­e­fit, sep­tic re­quire­ments, emer­gen- cy ser­vices ac­cess and im­pacts on sig­nif­i­cant wood­lands” at that meet­ing.

The so­ci­ety has since sub­mit­ted a re­vised pro­posal to the city which has been cir­cu­lated to var­i­ous city de­part­ments and agen­cies in­clud­ing Kawartha Con­ser­va­tion and area First Na­tions. “The ap­pli­cant sub­mit­ted up­dated stud­ies and re­ports and re­vised their plans to ad­dress con­cerns,” Holy said.

The re­vised pro­posal cuts the ed­u­ca­tion cen­tre in half — from 1,145 square feet to 550 square feet — and has fewer ac­com­mo­da­tions — 15 rooms in­stead of 25. The cen­tre and five pri­vate cab­ins are to be com­pleted in Phase 1 of the project.

Phase 2 of the project would see the de­vel­op­ment of a 363square-foot tem­ple.

The plans were pre­sented at a Plan­ning Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee meet­ing Sept. 11 as a “con­tin­u­a­tion of the pub­lic meet­ing.”

Many of the con­cerns brought up at the meet­ing by at­tend­ing res­i­dents echoed those from the first. Holy said “area res­i­dents ex­pressed con­cerns re­lated mainly to in­creased traf­fic, park­ing, num­bers of at­ten­dees, the qual­ity of the road, road flood­ing, ex­ist­ing and fu­ture uses, other tem­ple lo­ca­tions and emer­gency ser­vices ac­cess.”

Ac­cord­ing to meet­ing min­utes, the chair of the Ri­woche Tem­ple, Diane Costa, clar­i­fied it has no af­fil­i­a­tion with the Cham Shan Tem­ple Bethany on Ski Hill Road. She also noted its “core mem­ber­ship is sig­nif­i­cantly smaller in com­par­i­son with only 25 to 30 peo­ple.”

Costa said the ed­u­ca­tion cen­tre would of­fer ed­u­ca­tional pro­grams in­clud­ing healthy liv­ing, and tra­di­tional Bud­dhist cour­ses and re­treats at­tract­ing around 20 to 25 peo­ple at a time. She said the lo­ca­tion was se­lected for its peace and tran­quil­ity, and the con­struc­tion of stu­pas and other fa­cil­i­ties would add to the peace in the area.

Costa said the de­vel­op­ment will look to hire lo­cal con­trac­tors where pos­si­ble and that con­cerns from the pre­vi­ous pub­lic meet­ing have been taken into ac­count. One way traf­fic con­cerns have been ac­counted for, she said, is that the tem­ple has rented a bus, and/or car­pooled at­ten­dees to the site to re­duce im­pact.

Staff rec­om­mended that the ap­pli­ca­tion be cir­cu­lated for fur­ther re­view and com­ment from the com­mit­tee, area agen­cies, city de­part­ments and the pub­lic.

The Ri­woche So­ci­ety and EcoVue Con­sult­ing Ser­vices will host an open house there on Nov. 9 be­tween 2 and 4 p.m.

AN­DREW FRAN­CIS WAL­LACE TORONTO STAR FILE PHOTO

A group in­ter­ested in build­ing a Bud­dhist tem­ple near Janetville is work­ing with City of Kawartha Lakes coun­cil. This is a sep­a­rate de­vel­op­ment from the Cham Shan Tem­ple near Bethany.

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