Muslim group tweaks Lombard mosque plan

  • Muslim Community Association of the Western Suburbs hopes to build a 43000-square-foot mosque near Lombard.

    Muslim Community Association of the Western Suburbs hopes to build a 43000-square-foot mosque near Lombard.

 
 
Updated 7/20/2011 5:47 AM

A group hoping to build a mosque near Lombard has revised its plan in an effort to eliminate concerns about traffic congestion.

DuPage County Board members could vote as soon as next week on Muslim Community Association of the Western Suburbs' proposal to construct a roughly 43,000-square-foot mosque on nearly 4 acres along the south side of Roosevelt Road, just east of I-355.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

In a move that could help win county board support for the conditional-use permit request, the mosque plan has been modified to include partial access to Roosevelt.

Mark Daniel, the group's attorney, said IDOT officials have agreed to allow a right-turn only lane for vehicles exiting the site. Anyone traveling to the mosque still would have to use to use nearby Lawler Avenue to enter the parking lot.

Daniel said the change is "significant" because it takes all the outbound traffic off Lawler. No one leaving would be able to use that road.

Milton Township officials and several neighbors have voiced concerns about the mosque causing traffic backups at the intersection of Roosevelt and Lawler. Those concerns are a big reason why the county board's development committee is split on the proposal. Last month, the panel's vote on the conditional-use permit request ended in a 3-3 tie.

But with the new plan, Daniel said he believes all the traffic concerns are addressed. "This thing should be approved," he said.

Still, several neighbors said on Tuesday that they remain opposed to the project. They argue the amount of traffic the mosque would generate is too much for the area.

If approved, the mosque -- Pin Oak Community Center -- would have two stories and initially serve 25 to 50 families. The number of people using the mosque is expected to grow.

As part of its proposal, Muslim Community Association of the Western Suburbs is seeking a height variance for a roughly 50-foot dome. Development committee members have recommended the county board approve that request.