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Norwalk Reverses Stance on Proposed Mosque

Following the filing of a federal lawsuit alleging religious discrimination, the Norwalk Planning & Zoning Commission has reportedly reversed its stance on the controversial project, which was strongly opposed by neighbors.

 

After initially denying Al-Madany Islamic Center's proposal to build a mosque at 127 Fillow Street — a move which prompted a federal lawsuit and a Justice Department inquiry regarding alleged religious discrimination — the Norwalk Planning & Zoning Commission has reportedly reversed its stance on the project.

According to an Associated Press report, the commission voted 6-1 last week to allow the mosque, subject to the terms of a final settlement of Al-Madany Islamic Center's discrimination lawsuit against the city.

More specifically the commissioners approved the following motion:

"Subject to an agreement on the terms and conditions of the final settlement agreement, we consent to a resolution to allow for zoning approval for the mosque and accessory use building."

The project was the subject of numerous public hearings, during which neighbors testified that the proposed 27,000-square-foot mosque would be too large for the 1.5-acre property. Traffic safety and lack of parking were also cited as concerns.

For more check out the AP report on WTNH.

Suzanne December 12, 2012 at 03:17 AM
"To allow for zoning approval" does not mean the project has been approved. It means that the project may or may not be allowed. The Department of Justice is investigating whether religious discrimination played a role in the initial rejection by the Zoning Commission of the Mosque Proposal. If all bears out truthfully as Mayor Moccia represents it, "Bigotry did not play a role in our decision", then common sense and community pressure should prevail. Anyone who has seen the site in its current condition adjacent to a hazardous intersection can see that religious discrimination has nothing to do with safety and wise development in a quiet residential neighborhood. Norwalk has an old, empty and large church waiting for an occupant - it is in the Muslim tradition to convert Christian structures. Parking is already available, zoning isn't an issue. Why not?
Cindy March 06, 2013 at 10:05 PM
I attended ALL the meetings and religion had NOTHING to do with the community opposition. Al-Madany should be ashamed of itself pulling out the bigotry card when it was made perfectly clear that traffic, parking, pollution, noise, safety for school children and lack of property for such a massive structure were some of many issues bothering the residents of Fillow Street - none of which had anything to do with being a Muslim. And the zoning commission should be equally ashamed of itself for failing the community by backing down because it was the easiest thing to do not because it was the RIGHT thing to do.

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