Rejected Muslim Center Plan Still Alive In Courts

April 20, 2010

Author: Susan Frick Carlman

Source: Naperville Sun,6_1_NA20_MUSLIM_S1-100420.article

DuPage County officials remain largely mum about the complaint filed April 8 on behalf of a Muslim group denied clearance to open a school and worship site on 75th Street, just beyond Naperville's eastern border.

But the issue is not dead, nor are its circumstances unique.

Governmental agencies, including the county, sometimes approve zoning exemptions for Muslim and other religious organizations. Sometimes not.

"It depends on the community," said Kevin Vodak, the attorney at the Chicago office of the Council on American and Islamic Relations who filed the suit on behalf of Irshad Learning Center. "Some communities recognize every right that an Islamic organization has."

The center was proposed in December 2008, nine months after the organization purchased the 3-acre parcel east of Naper Boulevard and the 3,600-square-foot house and accessory buildings on the lot. The conditional use permit application called for no expansion of the buildings, but the group ultimately wanted to provide 39 parking spaces.