Tuesday November 12, 2019

A Buddhist Temple seeks permission to install a 10 foot statue

A Buddhist temple is having some trouble in obtaining permission to install a 10 foot statue of Lord Buddha

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A Buddhist Statue in a lawn (representative); Source: Pixabay

Abington, US, Mar 14, 2017: The leaders of a local temple in Abington, Massachusetts, wish to install a 10 feet tall statue of Lord Buddha. However, the town isn’t giving the all clear to do so.

This week, the temple leaders will appeal a decision by the Abington Zoning Enforcement Officer denying their application to install some ornamental monuments along with the statue.

A Buddhist Statue in a lawn (representative); Source: Pixabay

The Chua Linh Quang Buddhist Meditation temple on Washington Street, has been open for almost an year, used by the Vietnamese-Americans and others for yoga and meditation.

According to a report in The Enterprise, Zoning Officer Marshal Adams said he couldn’t approve the application of Temple Leader Nhutam Thich to install a 10-foot, white stone statue along with several smaller statues and large painted rocks because the temple’s plans were explicit and abutters hadn’t given input.

In a residential district, the town typically only allows someone to hang out a shingle for something like an attorney’s office, he said.
“I told the temple they’d have to clarify everything they were going to do,” Adams said. “They have a lot of questions to be answered, so I felt it best that the whole thing be sorted out through the zoning board.”

The temple is used for Meditation and Yoga; Source: Pixabay

Agai, Thich requested ZBA to review his decision on Mar 9, at a public hearing. Thich remained unsure of what she will do if the ZBA doesn’t give approval.

She said, “I hope they are going to say yes.”

The Chua Linh Quang temple is part of the Pho Hien Buddhist Meditation Temple Corporation and the Vietnamese Buddhist Community of Massachusetts. The organization leads a temple in Worcester.
“It was easy to get approved in Worcester,” Thich said.
Approval for certain permits, like this one, has proved more difficult in the residential section of Abington, she said.
Thich said she hadn’t heard directly from any neighbors about the statue.
“I think they’re okay with it, but I don’t know,” she said.
Adams said if abutters have concerns, “the time to share them would be the public hearing.”
The public hearing before the ZBA was originally scheduled for Feb. 9, but was rescheduled to March 9 because of snow.

-Prepared by Nikita Saraf, Twitter: @niki_saraf

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Reasons For Bigger Houses In America

Here's why houses are getting bigger in America

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Americans prefer houses that have big and open spaces in them. Pixabay

BY DORA MEKOUAR

Americans have long been drawn to big, open spaces, so perhaps it’s no surprise that houses built in the United States are among the most expansive on the planet.

And they keep getting bigger.

The size of the average house has more than doubled since the 1950s. In 2019, the average size of a new single-family home was 240 square meters (2,584 square feet), according to the National Association of Homebuilders.

Deeply held feelings about one’s home may be rooted in America’s homesteading, pioneering past.

“The appeal of the house for Americans, going back into the 20th century, was that it signified autonomy. You know, every home is a castle,” says Louis Hyman, an economic historian and assistant professor at Cornell University. “So, it has these echoes of signifying independence and achievement.”

The federal government has pushed the idea that a nation of homeowners is ideal.

The 1934 establishment of the Federal Housing Administration revolutionized home ownership. By creating the financial mortgaging system that Americans still use today, the FHA made home buying more accessible for millions of people. At the time, most Americans rented. Homeownership stood at 40% in 1934. By 2001, the figure had risen to 68%.

In the 1940s, President Franklin D. Roosevelt equated homeownership with citizenship, saying that a “nation of homeowners, of people who own a real share in their own land, is unconquerable.”

Today, the homeownership rate in the United States stands at around 65%.

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The average newly built house is now twice as big as the average new home in 1945. Pixabay

The ability to invest in their homes has helped mask economic stagnation for many Americans. Although unemployment is near a record low, real wages — the number of goods and services that can be bought with money earned — haven’t budged in decades for U.S. workers.

“As Americans find that their wages are stagnating after the 1970s, they’re able to make money by investing in houses,” Hyman says. “The houses become a way for average Americans to get financial leverage, which can multiply their returns. There’s no other way for Americans to get access to financial leverage outside of houses. You can’t do it in the stock market if you’re just a normal person, and so this is a way to basically speculate in housing.”

For some Americans, owning a big home is a status symbol, physical proof that they’ve succeeded in life.

“This kind of classical example of the big suburban home has been a very powerful idea for many, many decades now,” says architectural historian William Richards. “People sometimes want specific rooms that have specific functions —a mud room; everybody gets their own bedroom; there’s no bunking up; a dedicated laundry room.”

And spacious houses are more financially attainable than they used to be.

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For many Americans, a large home is not only a status symbol, but also an investment. Pixabay

“In the design and construction, there are greater efficiencies now for all sorts of reasons so that it’s less expensive to build a bigger house now,” Richards says.

But do bigger houses, sometimes called McMansions, make people happier? Not according to a recent paper that Clément Bellet, now an adjunct professor at INSEAD, a European business school, wrote as a postdoctoral fellow.

“Despite a major upscaling of single-family houses since 1980, house satisfaction has remained steady in American suburbs,” Bellet writes in the report.

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People living in larger houses, however, do tend to be more satisfied with their property, according to Bellet, but that satisfaction plunges when even more massive houses are built nearby. (VOA)