Citing feasibility, the Lilburn Planning Commission voted 4-0 to recommend denial of the rezoning request by Dar-E-Abbas for a 20,000-square-foot mosque on four acres at U.S. 29 and Hood Road. According to the AJC, the Planning Commission members took issue with everything from buffers and parking to the potential for noise and water runoff.
“This board does not change zoning on the flip of a coin,” Commissioner Mike Hart told more than 70 residents at city hall. “We have to change zoning understanding that the project will work, and this site plan doesn’t communicate that this project will work.”
“All of the discussion about compliance with traffic and hydraulics and buffers and setbacks can be dealt with in the permitting stage,” Dillard said. “The bottom line is, by denying it, they are still taking away the constitutional right that this congregation has to worship in free and peaceful assembly and that’s wrong, and I’m very disappointed in the planning commission.”
The rezoning application and the Planning Commission recommendation now head to the City Council for a final vote.
This recent Planning Commission decision is the latest in a yearlong dispute over the planned Mosque. In November 2009, the Lilburn City Council denied a similar rezoning request sought Dar-E-Abbas, which led to a federal religious discrimination lawsuit against the city. The lawsuit is on hold through January.