Muslims Encounter Resistance to Move



A request for a permit that would allow a growing Islamic community center to relocate within the manufacturing district where it has been located for 20 years has some Rolling Meadows aldermen concerned about setting a precedent.

The Islamic Society of Northwest Suburbs of Chicago, with about 200 members, says it has outgrown its 5,000-square-foot location at 3890 Industrial Ave. Members want to buy a 15,000-square-foot facility two doors down at 3950 Industrial Ave. to use as a mosque.

At a May 5 meeting the Plan Commission recommended approving the permit, but city staff members have recommended rejecting it, arguing that zoning regulations do not allow places of worship in a manufacturing district.

The topic was discussed at the City Council's committee of the whole meeting Tuesday night. The council is expected to take a formal vote next week.

Ald. Tom Rooney said he is eager to keep the Islamic Society in Rolling Meadows, but echoed the staff's position.

"I want you to stay a part of the community. I want you to grow," Rooney told society members. "But I have to be able to do it in a way that I am not changing the way the law is written to fit the situation."

Ald. Merton Staley, in whose district the community center is located, favors approving the permit because the group has been in there for two decades, but he does not want to set a precedent allowing new uses..

 


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