In order to allow more time to develop a plan that would allow the Islamic Cultural Association (ICA) of Franklin to build a mosque in West Bloomfield, the Planning Commission tabled the matter Tuesday.
A crowd packed into Town Hall on Tuesday night to hear more about the controversial plans at the site of the former Eagle Elementary School at Middlebelt and 14 Mile roads, including the local branch of By Any Means Necessary, a social action group, which protested in support of the ICA outside for at least a half-hour before the meeting started.
The issue received attention from news outlets around the country in days since the commission voted to table the issue at its last meeting in August. While some issues have been raised regarding the ICA for more than a year, since the building's purchase from Farmington Public Schools, developers at the site are dealing with issues raised by local government officials.
The issue was not tabled to a particular meeting date, although attorney Richard Rattner estimated that the ICA would be prepared for another public hearing sometime in December or January of next year.
"I think it would be in the near future, I just can’t make an accurate determination whether it will be held in a month or two months," Rattner said. "We'll put it in as fast as we can."
Residents within 300 feet of the proposed development, as well as those in attendance at Tuesday night's meeting, will be notified through the mail of the new public hearing date, according to township officials.
Recent history involving the mosque development
For a complete look at how we have covered the issue since June 2011, visit Eagle Elementary on Patch.
The first meeting in West Bloomfield regarding the issue, a joint wetland review board/planning commission meeting on Aug. 14, seemed to offer just as many questions as answers.
Several residents questioned whether or not the size of the mosque's proposed dome and its spires were a "compatible use" for the area. Meanwhile, the planning commission delegated issues including requirements for the height of the dome to the zoning board of appeals, which tabled plans at its meeting last week.
On Sept. 21, the Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court's ruling that dismissed a lawsuit brought forth by two residents seeking to overturn the sale of the school to the ICA.
Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Rae Lee Chabot ruled in September 2011 that the case could not move forward because plaintiffs Eugene Greenstein and Melvin Sternfeld did not demonstrate that they would be harmed by the sale of the closed building.