St. Cloud Islamic Center Withdraws Mosque Proposal

Created: 10/08/2013 7:14 PM By: Cassie Hart

The Islamic Center of St. Cloud has withdrawn its application for a mosque development on the city's south side.
Mosque supporters pulled the proposal Monday night before the St. Cloud City Council could take a final vote.
About 500 people attended the sometimes heated meeting. Council member comments made it clear there was not support for the zoning change that would allow the project, Minnesota Public Radio News reported.
After the meeting, Islamic Center of St. Cloud President Abdulrashid Salad said he realized during the hearing that revising the proposal could increase its chances of passage.
"We have to show an example of (compromise), and that will at least satisfy some of the neighbors," Salad said. "Our hope is not to just win something -we can all be winners."
The 9.5-acre project would have included a mosque, classrooms and a gymnasium, and would have been built in phases on vacant land. The development would serve about 600 people, according to the planning documents.
Council member Dave Masters, who represents the area where the proposed mosque would be located, said the traffic and parking studies for the project were not detailed enough.
"Parking has been an issue for the mosque," Masters said. "I just feel like the current location is not adequate enough to deal with the size of the congregation."
Supporters of the mosque have said a new development is necessary to serve the growing Muslim community in the area.
The Islamic Center bought the land in 2011. Salad said whatever revised project the center comes up with will still be located at the same site.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)