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Residents worry about traffic new mosque will bring

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HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) - There's a debate over plans to build a new mosque in the 8100 block of Hungary Road in Henrico County's West End. The Islamic Center of Richmond has been given green light to build a two story 30,299 square-foot place of worship, with a daycare and school.

Salman Lateef, a center volunteer, said the mosque would fill a need in the West End.

For one year, members of the center have been worshiping in a small building. They said there is not enough room for members.

“People standing outside and praying, sometimes in the sun, some times in the snow, sometimes in the rain,” said Lateef.

While Lateef said the project is in its planning stages right now, some neighbors told CBS 6 they have concerns.

They said their concerns have nothing to do with religion, rather the traffic the mosque will bring to Hungary Road.

“We already have many subdivisions, churches, temples and with the traffic that generates in offset streets, and people are having make U-turns to get around as it is… I would have the same concerns, if they were putting in a Best Buy,” said neighbor Paul Thorn.

“Having a young boy, he`s not going to be allowed to ride a scooter if there`s going to be more traffic,” said neighbor Desmond Rule.

Residents had a chance to voice their concerns during a hearing, but some neighbors said either didn’t get a notice for the hearing, or it started too early.

“I got a notice about a week before, and it started at nine in the morning,” said Thorn.

Meanwhile, Henrico County Manager Virgil Hazlett said notices were given to all residents adjacent to the proposed mosque.