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.
Atlanta City Council approved a new zoning ordinance (SPI-9) for Buckhead covering a significant part of the Buckhead commercial area generally west of Piedmont Avenue and north of Pharr Road.
According to the Buckhead Community Improvement District, the new zoning ordinance positions Buckhead to become “a more walkable, urban community enriched with public art and parks, wide sidewalks, greenspace, transportation options, and outdoor dining, all designed to have international appeal.” The ordinance defines street treatments, facades, sidewalk widths, signage, greenspace, and other public elements intended to create a cohesive feel to the community and help developers position their developments with consideration of public space.
You can review the approved ordinance here.
The Muslim congregation of Dar-E-Abbas will sue Lilburn for violations of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act and other provisions of the state and federal constitutions arising out of the Lilburn City Council denied a rezoning request by Dar-E-Abbas for a 20,000-square-foot mosque, cemetery and gymnasium on about 8 acres at U.S. 29 and Hood Road.
“We think the city clearly discriminated against these people, particularly in light of the fact they’ve worshipped on this land 12 to 13 years,” [Doug Dillard, attorney for the congregation of Dar-E-Abbas] said Wednesday.
In a 4 to 0 vote the Lilburn City Council denied a rezoning request by the local Muslim congregation of Dar-E-Abbas for a 20,000-square-foot mosque, cemetery and gymnasium on about 8 acres at U.S. 29 and Hood Road.
More than 400 Lilburn residents attended the Council meeting to oppose the expansion of the eleven year Dar-E-Abbas. The vote will likely not end the dispute.
Doug Dillard, the congregation’s attorney, called the decision “arbitrary and capricious” and plans to file a lawsuit against the city within 30 days.
“The basis of this motion to deny had no basis in fact,” Dillard said. “My recommendation is we file suit and challenge the legality of what the council did tonight.”
The Georgia Court of Appeals reversed a Banks County rezoning decision as violative of its zoning ordinance where its county commission approved a rezoning application that did not include a site plan. The Court of Appeals held that the local zoning ordinance required county officials to review rezoning applications based on specific criteria, such as the land use, development suitability, and the impact of the rezoning on nearby property. The Court of Appeals noted that without a site plan, officials had little information about the rezoning applicant’s actual proposed use and how that use would affect the property, hindering their ability to analyze the required criteria.
The Court of Appeals held that the county officials neglected to obtain the required site plan from the rezoning applicant, thus ignoring mandatory zoning requirements and depriving themselves of key information relating to the proposed development. The Court of Appeals reversed the trial court and remanded the rezoning decision to the county commission for further consideration in compliance with its order.
Keep reading for GZB’s summary of Harden v. Banks County, 294 Ga. App. 327, 670 S.E.2d 133, decided November 8, 2008.
Tuesday the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta filed suit against Gwinnett County challenging the rezoning and special-use permit granted last month to Lancaster Enterprises for what the church claims is a “spot zoning” decision made by the Board of Commissioners. The rezoning and special-use permit allows Lancaster Enterprises to develop a waste transfer station adjacent to church property.
The lawsuit accuses Gwinnett County of abusing its authority in approving rezoning for the site on Shackleford Road adjacent to Holy Vietnamese Martyrs Mission.
The lawsuit, which also names Lancaster Enterprises, additionally argues the waste transfer station would be a nuisance prohibited under Georgia law.
“We ask that the Commission prayerfully reconsider the impact on the community and take action to reverse their decision to place a solid waste station adjacent to a church,” Archbishop Wilton Gregory said in a statement.
Community input breaking in favor of the church.