Lombard-area mosque wins approval
A mosque will be constructed near Lombard, but it might be missing a key architectural component.
DuPage County Board members on Tuesday approved Muslim Community Association of the Western Suburbs' request to build a roughly 43,000-square-foot mosque on nearly 4 acres along the south side of Roosevelt Road, just east of I-355.
"We are very happy, obviously," said Talha Ali, president of the group. "We definitely appreciate the county board for its approval."
The 12-4 vote to grant the conditional-use permit request came after the mosque plan was 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 nearby Lawler Avenue to enter the parking lot.
Daniel said the revised plan "answered the most concerns" because it takes all the outbound traffic off Lawler. No one leaving will be able to use that road.
Some neighbors opposed to the project raised concerns about the mosque causing traffic backups at the intersection of Roosevelt and Lawler.
"There will be no new traffic onto Lawler whatsoever," Daniel said.
The mosque -- Pin Oak Community Center -- will have two stories and initially serve up to 50 families from the Lombard/Glen Ellyn area.
But unless Muslim Community Association can convince county board members to change their minds, the mosque won't have a roughly 50-foot-tall dome. In July, the board rejected a height variance request because the group failed to show the denial would result in a legal hardship.
DuPage have officials said a 36-foot height limit for residential areas was adopted in 2005. Since that time, the county hasn't allowed any variances for religious uses.
Building height exceptions is one issue county officials are addressing as they work through a proposed set of zoning law amendments that would apply to new religious facilities in residential neighborhoods. But those text amendments aren't expected to be approved until the end of the year.
In the meantime, Daniel said Muslim Community Association hasn't decided how it will respond to the rejection of its height variance request.
Ali said he wasn't worried about the height issue on Tuesday. "We're happy with what we have," he said.