A mega-mosque five stories high and more than 25,000 square feet in size could be the faith home of central Florida Muslims and that’s creating a lot of controversy in the planned construction area in Lake County. People close to the site say it’s a safety issue. (Yes, having all those potential terrorists in one location IS a safety issue!)
FOX NEWS (H/T Robert W) LAKE COUNTY, FL Neighbors say a few acres zoned for farming have grown into a place where hundred of people gather every week – overwhelming a tiny rural road with traffic, trash, and noise. The Islamic Center of Clermont wants the land rezoned from “agriculture” to build a towering 25,000 square foot mosque on the property, but neighbors are fighting against it.
Mike and Debbie Salvi have owned a plant nursery next door to the property for more than a decade. “[The mosque] is not a fit, and for what they’re proposing to build there– it would be a monstrosity for this area of agriculture and residential,” says Debbie who dislikes the idea of a 45 foot building outside her window.
The Salvis say the Islamic group started putting stress on their tiny road nearly four years ago with unpermitted events drawing hundreds. “It’s slowly gotten out of hand,” Debbie told Fox 35. Nearly a dozen people lined-up at the Clermont City Council meeting Tuesday night to add their opposition to the mosque and community center. One woman called the plans “ludicrous.”
However, a leader from the Islamic Center pleaded with the city for consideration. “This is a different form of prayer, a different form of worship,” said Anwar Natib. “We’re asking for your kindness. I understand the outbursts from the community, and change is always a difficult thing.”
In the end, change was too much for the council, voting unanimously against the plan. The Lake County zoning board also voted against the Islamic Center 4-1. That leaves the Lake County Commission with the final decision. Their vote will happen March 27th at 9am.