DeKALB – A representative for the Islamic Society of Northern Illinois University said construction on a new mosque was not halted because of a mistake on the city’s end.
Mohammed Labadi, a board member with the society, said the organization hopes to break ground on a new mosque at 801 Normal Road in two months.
“We’re very pleased with the city’s support and the community’s support,” Labadi said.
On Wednesday, the city’s planning and zoning commission quickly signed off on the society’s special-use permit for the construction of a mosque at that site, which is next door to the society’s current location at 721 Normal Road.
Both the commission and the City Council approved the permit in May, but it turns out that the commission did not have quorum when it took the vote. Only three members of the seven-member commission showed up at the May 16 meeting. Because there was no quorum, none of the votes that night counted.
At Wednesday’s meeting, four members were present, and they all voted for the
The DeKalb City Council is expected to re-vote on the
special-use permit at its Aug. 27 meeting.
Labadi gave a shorter presentation to the commission Wednesday. He presented renderings of what the 4,250-square-foot mosque would look like in the neighborhood.
“It has residential characteristics and it flows really well with the rest of the neighborhood,” Labadi said.
The building the society currently uses would be converted into a single-family home.
The information Labadi presented was old news to everyone except the commission’s newest member, Matthew Crull.
Crull indicated his support for the project, but he asked Labadi why this location. Labadi responded that the society already owns that property, and it’s within walking distance for university students.
Some neighbors, such as Gary Coover of 803 Normal Road, came out to Wednesday’s meeting to voice their support for the plan again. For Coover in particular, this was his fifth time speaking in support of the society’s efforts.
“We’ve been very supportive, and we continue to be supportive of this,” Coover said.