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Mosque Hearing Before Planning Board Moved to Next Week

CORRECTION: Hearing on proposed mosque in Liberty Corner moved to next Thursday, Oct. 25.

Tuesday's Planning Board meeting, which had been scheduled to include a continuation on a proposal for a 4,200-square-foot mosque on Church Street in Liberty Corner, not far from the intersection with Somerville Road, has been canceled.

Either the project's architect, Dan Lincoln. or the project's engineer, Adnan Kahn, had been expected testify before the Planning Board at the scheduled hearing at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 16, attorney Vincent Bisogno, who represents the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge, said at the last meeting.

Meeting moved to Oct. 25

The meeting, with the agenda to include the continuation of the hearing with the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge, has been moved to the following week, at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 25. The reason for the move is that the Planning Board's attorney was unavailable this week, Planning Board secretary Frances Florio said on Monday.

During the last public session — a continuation of the formal hearing on the application that began last summer — Bisogno reminded the public that a house of worship is permitted within a residential zone, according to municipal zoning ordinances already approved by the Township Committee. Bisogno said the mosque should be treated the same as if it were any other house of worship within the township, including the nearby Liberty Corner Presbyterian Church.

Florio added that the Planning Board is scheduled to meet the following Tuesday, Oct. 30, with an agenda that will include the continuation of the public hearing on the Millington Quarry. That special meeting was set because the Planning Board will not be meeting on Nov. 6, the board's first regularly scheduled meeting in November, because that is election night, Florio said on Monday morning.

Coming up this week are:

  • The Township Golf Advisory Committee, at 7 p.m. on Monday at the municipal building, 1 Collyer Lane, Basking Ridge.
  • The Bernards Township Health Department's scheduled flu clinics for children over age 4 and for adults will continue this week:
  • Next Friday, the flu clinic is scheduled to be held from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Peapack-Gladstone Borough Hall, 1 School St., Peapack.
  • Next Saturday, the flu clinic to be held at the Bernards Township Community Center, 289 S. Maple Ave. The cost of a flu shot is $20 for residents of member towns and $25 for residents of non-member towns. Member towns also include Bernardsville and Peapack-Gladstone boroughs.
LC October 15, 2012 at 01:04 PM
Please remind people that the ISBR mosque proposal will come before the Planning Board on Thursday, October 25th at 7:30 pm. It was moved due to a scheduling conflict for the new board attorney. Also, what Bisogno fails to embrace in his assertions is that the 3 acre minimum requirement was actually a mistake in the ordinance, which was amended in 1992 - see the Bernardsville News front page story from September 20th. The ordinance was being redrafted to prevent houses of worship from coming into Liberty Corner - regardless of denomination- but the wording "permitted use" was suggested by then township attorney Howard Shaw, now deceased. Keep in mind: the concern over zoning was brought to light over interest in building houses of worship by a Hindu group and a Lutheran group.Residents did not want that kind of development in Liberty Corner then, just as we do not want it now - whether it be Hindu, Lutheran or Muslim. Bisogno's assertion that they want to be treated as the Presbyterian Church is ridiculous - the church has been there for about 100 years. Also, since the ordinance was redrafted with this loophole, no other group has sought to purchase a single family, residential home to convert into what is, essentially a commercial use. Why? Churches and temples have opened in Basking Ridge over the past 20 years - but in more suitable locations. Why doesn't the ISBR respond to the neighborhood sentiment? Just because you CAN do something, doesn't mean you should.
Linda Sadlouskos (Editor) October 15, 2012 at 07:21 PM
L.C. is correct. The special Planning Board meeting with the proposed mosque on the agenda is moved to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 25.

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