Hundreds gather to debate proposed Carmel mosque, second hearing scheduled because of turnout

CARMEL, Ind. -- The vote for a special amendment to allow an Islamic center and mosque to be built on a piece of Carmel property has been pushed back because the turnout at the community hearing Monday night was so large that more than 100 people had to be turned away.

The Monon Community Center was filled to capacity for the hearing where dozens of people shared their opinions and impassioned pleas - mostly against - the proposed mosque.

The Al Salam Foundation wants to build an Islamic Life Center and Mosque near Shelborne Road and West 141st Street.

But people living in Carmel gathered at the hearing to voice their opinions about the project.

Neighbors of the proposed site voiced their concerns about the noise, traffic and light population the project would bring to their community.

So many people showed up at Monday night’s hearing that dozens had to be turned away after the room reached capacity. Because of that, the Board of Zoning Appeals granted a continuance to next month to allow everyone else a chance to be heard.

One of the primary concerns from those opposed to the mosque comes from an early proposal that showed a dome standing 70 feet tall. In light of those concerns Ashaar Madni, Vice President of the Al Salam Foundation says they changed their plans and reduced the dome to 35 feet.

 

 

The Al Salam Foundation’s purchase of the proposed site is contingent upon the granting of the special use amendment. If they don’t get it, they don’t have to buy the land.

If they do get the special use amendment, Madni says it will likely be at least three years before they begin breaking ground.

The Al Salam Foundation is planning a traffic study to analyze the potential impact of the mosque. That will be presented at the next month’s hearing.

The next hearing date has not yet been set.

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