A small Buddhist congregation was given a conditional use permit Thursday night to build a temple and monastery to house up to five monks in the north Davis County area.

The Davis Planning Commission issued the permit to the Wat Dhammagynaram congregation for a 12-acre parcel of ground at 2425 N. 43rd West, Hooper.The commission tabled the request at its January meeting, asking for a more detailed site plan and proposals on dealing with the drainage canals and storm drain channels that cut through the property.

A group of neighbors headed by Ellis R. Kendrick, 4261 W. 2425 North, submitted a petition opposing the request at January's meeting, citing concerns over drainage, traffic and the monastery.

That opposition generated intense media interest in the issue, which Kendrick said unfairly portrayed him and his neighbors as religious bigots.

At Thursday's planning commission session, Kendrick said he does not oppose a church on the property but questioned whether immigrant families sponsored by the congregation will be housed there.

"We have no plans to sponsor anyone. We have not in the past, but if Thailand falls to the communists, we cannot say what might happen in the future," Somboon Mongkolsombat said. "But if families did come in, they would only stay there a short while."

Planning staff member Tim Stephens said the groups must get permits from the county flood control department and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers because of drainage concerns and wetlands in the area.

The commission listed several stipulations that must be followed for the permit. Among those were:

-The property can be used for religious purposes only.

-A complete fencing and landscaping plan must be submitted and a fire hydrant be installed.

-A portion of the 106-car parking lot must be paved to control dust.