Norwalk panel recommends rejection of mosque

A design of the proposed Islamic center in Norwalk, Connecticut.

May 27, 2012 9:32:57 AM PDT
Norwalk officials have recommended that a planned mosque be rejected due to a lack of parking.

The plan review committee of the Zoning Commission voted 3-0 recently to recommend that building Al-Madany Islamic Center be denied.

The commission is scheduled to vote June 6.

The proposal calls for a 27,000-square-foot building, including a prayer hall, classrooms, a community/recreation center and 89 parking spots.

A point of contention was the community/recreation center and lack of parking.

Typically, no additional parking is required at an accessory-use building.

Commissioners believe the community/recreation center does not fit the definition of an accessory-use space. Al-Madany spokesman Farhan Memon said commissioners are wrong.

He says Connecticut's Supreme Court has ruled that in the context of a religious building an accessory use includes prayer, celebration of festivals, study, meals and recreation.

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