After expansion plans of the Islamic Society of the Northwest Suburbs were rejected two years ago, leaders of the Rolling Meadows-based mosque will try again in hopes an updated proposal can secure enough votes of the city council.
But first, the latest plans are expected to be unveiled and reviewed during a June 5 meeting of the city's planning and zoning commission, the 9-member panel that will provide a recommendation to aldermen on whether to approve the mosque's request for zoning relief.
To accommodate its growing membership, the mosque wants to move from its longtime location at 3950 Industrial Ave. around the corner to 1200 Hicks Road. Both sites are in a manufacturing district, where places of worship are no longer allowed under city code, so a move would require a special-use permit.
Aldermen rejected that request in a 4-3 vote in April 2016, but the makeup of the council has since changed. Then-Alderman Len Prejna, now mayor, represented the 2nd Ward, where the mosque would be, and supported the mosque's relocation and expansion.
Current 2nd Ward Alderman Nick Budmats said this week he hadn't seen the latest plans but generally supports the mosque's intentions to grow. Though the mosque is in a manufacturing district surrounded by businesses, Budmats noted its proximity to the Shorewood Bible Church at 1900 Hicks Road and Harvest Bible Chapel at 800 Rohlwing Road.
"I would have a difficult time personally justifying telling those organizations, 'Sure, go ahead, do what you want,' and then telling ISNS, 'No.'" Budmats said. "Unless there was some problem with their plan."
While the city has not yet made the latest plans publicly available, Public Works Director Fred Vogt, who oversees the community development division, said the new proposal is significantly different from the last one.
Early renderings show that a driveway for the proposed mosque has been relocated to the north to avoid congestion close to Hicks Road, according to Vogt.
The new plans also include more landscaping, whereas the old plans had little to no site improvements, he said.
Mosque officials didn't share additional details this week.
Aldermen were set to get a formal update at their committee-of-the-whole meeting Tuesday but decided to delay their discussion until after the planning and zoning commission makes its recommendation June 5.
Aldermen could have their first discussion June 19, but it's also possible it might not happen until July 17.