HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – Plans are underway to build as many as three mosques in Henrico county because of central Virginia`s growing Muslim community. But some people in the Glen Allen area are fighting one going up in their neighborhood.
County leaders will be taking up an appeal filed by a group of Henrico citizens. They’re concerned about the size of a worship center planned to go up on Hungary Road and the impact it will have on traffic and noise.
That group is being led by Sylvia Hoehns-Wright whose family has lived next to where that 31,000 square foot mosque is planned to go up since the 1800’s. She tells us her opposition isn’t a cultural or religious one. It’s about location. Hoehns-Wright says any worship center or business that big should not be built so close to an established neighborhood like “Hungary Woods”, the subdivision that mosque will back up to.
We also talked with local Muslims who are looking forward to using the Islamic Center of Richmond’s planned mosque. They believe since they’ve already broken ground, they should be allowed to continue building, and the only thing holding back something a growing population in the community would welcome is politics.
Bassam Abed, a Henrico county Muslim recently talked with CBS 6’s Sandra Jones. “If the zoning and everything else is approved by the county,” said Abed, “there`s no reason to have a hold on it or anything else because the paper work states everything is done the correct way.”
“From what I`ve seen advertised on their website,” said Sylvia Hoehns-Wright, “there will be times when their events offered at this site that other mosques are not offering. So, in effect you could pull in people from the greater Richmond area for those particular events.”
Hoehns-Wright’s appeal is based on three points:
- Not enough parking and they need to add more.
- Parking during the construction needs to be addressed or activities limited.
- And planners need to provide more fences or landscaping to cut down on the light and noise from the mosque.
The Henrico Board of Supervisors will hear that appeal at a meeting Tuesday at 7 p.m.