After months of being tabled the Islamic Center of Naperville (ICN) gave an update on its 248th Avenue Mosque project.
Why Has The Project Been In Limbo?
For the last several months, ICN has been in discussions with a couple of homeowner associations near the project site about possible revisions.
According to ICN’s attorney Len Monson, on May 24 they received an email with 17 points of negotiations from the Tall Grass and Penncross Knoll HOAs, who call themselves the “Neighbors For A Neighborhood Mosque”.
Monson said 14 parameters were agreed or partially agreed on.
“There was much concern about our phasing timing as it corresponded to the future 248th Avenue improvements,” said Monson. “Therefore we have additionally agreed to limit the construction of our five phases to only the first two phases prior to improvements being made to 248th Avenue.”
Originally ICN’s proposed plan called for its 13-acre site to include a mosque, school, multi-purpose hall, a gymnasium, and an expansion to the mosque to be built over a five phase 40-year span.
Now, the third phase and following phases can not begin until after 248th Avenue is expanded from a two to four lane road, which the city has said could be in 2023 or 2024.
Other notable revisions included reducing overall parking spaces by 176, adding a crossing guard to a nearby trail during peak Friday times until 248th is improved, and increasing the buffer areas from the site to the neighbors.
Concerns Still There
We spoke with Tara McDonald, one of the 2,500 members of the “Neighbors For A Neighborhood Mosque” on Monday. She said the group is in favor of the mosque, but have concerns of the subsequent phases of the project.
“We definitely welcome the revisions that ICN is willing to make, it shows progress [as] both sides have been negotiating for a while now,” said McDonald. “But they haven’t still addressed the core concerns that the residents have: the size, the intensity, the traffic. Those are things we’re still hoping that we can make some progress on.”
When asked what would alleviate those concerns, McDonald said she would leave the specifics up to the attorneys.
She, along with others, won’t have to wait long, as the attorneys from both groups are scheduled to present their cases at the next Planning and Zoning Commission meeting on August 18.
Naperville News 17’s Christian Canizal reports.
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