January 21, 2021

Unprecedented Feedback for New Islamic Center of Naperville

There was an unprecedented amount of pubic participation for the proposed Islamic Center of Naperville at 3540 248th Ave at last night’s Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.

unprecedented Amount of Feedback

“This includes over 2,000 names in support/opposition, 770 written comments, and 160 public speakers,” said Community Planner for the City of Naperville Gabrielle Mattingly.

Due to time constraints, only the names in support/opposition were shown last night, with written comments entered into the case record. According to city staff, the majority of the names were in support of the project.

ICN’s New Site

ICN’s plan calls for its 13.36-acre site to include a mosque, school, multi-purpose hall, gymnasium, and an expansion on the mosque over a five phase, 40-year span.

“The first phase of construction is planned to begin within two years and will include a mosque with worship space for approximately 457 individuals,” said Community Planner for the City of Naperville Sara Kopinski. “Two access points will be constructed directly on 248th to ensure the efficient flow vehicles onto and off of the site.”

The following phases will be done in 10-year increments with construction estimated to be complete in 2060.

Community Concerns

According to commissioners most people who opposed ICN’s plan had concerns about more traffic.

ICN’s attorney Len Monson argued since roads near the site are or will become arterial roads, which are meant for high capacity and high speeds, traffic wouldn’t be an issue in the surrounding neighborhood.

“The neighbors are concerned about cut through [in the] neighborhoods, it just doesn’t make sense to me,” said Monson. “If I’m driving from the northeast [and] I’m coming along on 95th [Street] why would I leave 95th [Street] to go through a community and side streets neighborhood. It would be out of the way, slower, and an inconvenience.”

Monson also said ICN’s community members would utilize the site mostly on Fridays during non-peak traffic hours.

Old ICN Will Still Exist

The new site will serve in addition to ICN’s existing facility on Ogden Avenue and would not replace it.

The Planning and Zoning Commission will continue the public hearing on the matter on February 3.

Naperville News 17’s Christian Canizal reports.

 

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