Mosque Approval Under Appeal

Residents of the unincorporated county area between Montclair and Chino on the north and south and Ontario and the county line/Pomona City Limits on the east and west have appealed the county planning commission’s approval of a mosque in their neighborhood to the county board of supervisors.
On December 8, the San Bernardino County Planning Commission granted a conditional use permit to build the Al Nur Mosque on a 1.54-acre parcel at 4797 W. Phillips Boulevard, which is approximately 330 feet east of Yorba Avenue. The 7,512 square foot religious center would have a maximum occupancy of 262 people.
While some neighbors oppose the plan, certain members of the congregation at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints located at 4321 Philadelphia Street have gone on record as supporting the mosque, citing the principal of “Muslim and Mormon cooperation.”
Area resident Jim Weedell said he believes the site, which lies in the midst of residential and residential/agricultural uses, is not suitable for a mosque. “This should be put in a place where it will work,” he said. “The lot is too small and the road there is not wide enough.” Weedell said that the mosque will be out of place because “No one in the neighborhood is Muslim.”
Other residents say they are concerned that the land will not accommodate a large influx of visitors and that this will overwhelm the neighborhood during religious services that normally take place between noon and 3 p.m. on Fridays. The land there does not have a sewer system and homes in the area utilize cesspools and septic systems.
The project proponents will install a 2,000-gallon septic tank, which they maintain will handle a capacity crowd of worshippers.
Project supporters say their opponents are gripped with “Islamaphobia.”
Rashid Ahmed, chairman of the Al-Nur Islamic Center, spoke passionately about the need for the mosque.
Heidi Duron is the county land use specialist who vetted the project.
The board of supervisors will hear the appeal at the February 28 board meeting.

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