ADAMS center rendering Nokesville mosque

The Prince William County Planning Commission is delaying a decision on a permit for the construction of a new mosque and community center in Nokesville, following a contentious public hearing that went beyond questions around land use and touched on issues like religious freedom and community inclusiveness.

The commission voted 6-2 Wednesday night to defer a vote on a special use permit for the All Dulles Area Muslim Society to build a 22,400 square foot facility on a roughly 14 acre property at the intersection of Vint Hill Road and Schaeffer Lane. The commission will take up the issue again at its Dec. 7 meeting to decide what to recommend to the county’s Board of Supervisors about the permit.

The Islamic group, commonly known as ADAMS, has been working for the past two years to earn permission to move ahead with the new facility, which would hold up to 500 people and come with 300 parking spaces attached to the property. But because the building would be located within the county’s Rural Crescent, the group’s had to submit several proposals to work through the various traffic and sewer-related issues in the area.

Yet Commissioner Patti McKay of the Brentsville District, where the mosque would be located, had a laundry list of concerns about the facility. Specifically, she worried that the permit didn’t contain a number of “standard conditions” that have governed previous projects. Accordingly, she pushed for more time to give ADAMS a chance to evaluate its proposal with county staff.

“Patience is a virtue in all faiths, and this is part of the process,” Rizwan Jaka, ADAMS’ board chairman, said in an interview. “There were mostly well-intentioned people here, and this happen anywhere you have development colliding with a rural area.”

Indeed, because the mosque would be located near three schools and could require the construction of an extensive septic system, dozens came to Wednesday’s hearing to protest the permit. But dozens of members of ADAMS, which rents worship space around the Washington, D.C. metro area, spoke to urge commissioners to understand the need for a space to congregate and how valuable the building could be for the community.

Stephen Donohue, the county’s planning manager, noted that his staff supports a permit for the project, calling it “consistent” with other development in the area and pointing out that there are “a number of large institutions nearby and they’re all larger than the proposed building.”

However, Donohue added that the county would want to see ADAMS build an on-site septic system as a condition of earning the permit. That was the one area where Jonelle Cameron — an attorney with Walsh, Colucci, Lubeley and Walsh, which represents the Islamic group — disagreed with the county.

She said the group would prefer to hook into the county’s water system, though the commission did not seem inclined to grant that request.

“We want to be good stewards of the land and preserve as much green space as possible, not build drain fields for a septic system,” Cameron said.

That proved to be a sticking point for most commissioners, and they hoped that ADAMS would develop an alternative plan detailing the environmental impact of developing a separate septic system for the mosque.

“We’ll take a look at the soil in the area and really see what that would look like,” Jaka said.

But Donohoe did agree with ADAMS that the project would have a minimum impact on traffic in the area (despite many members of the public’s claims to the contrary), and Cameron noted that ADAMS has already made plans to move the time of its Friday prayer service so as not to conflict with students leaving school at the end of the week. Further, she pointed out that one of the conditions of the permit was that the group would secure the services of county police to direct traffic during popular events.

But McKay remained concerned that ADAMS hadn’t included provisions explicitly prohibiting them from putting up “speakers or amplifying noise,” or stopping them from using the fields on the property at night.

“All churches want to grow,” McKay said. “I’m concerned that it’s very intensive use for a 14-acre property in a residential area. I’m concerned that it could disrupt the area.”

Yet many members of ADAMS and the general public argued that opposition to the mosque hinted at bigotry in the area and would rob Muslims in the county of a chance to express their faith. In the packed board chamber, tensions ran particularly high when one opponent of the permit yelled, “Would one of the Muslims please leave?” as Commission Chair Rene Fry asked him to find a seat.

“We’ve heard a lot of people using code words, like ‘those people’ and ‘them,’ and we all know what that means,” said Harry Wiggins, a county resident and chair of the Prince William Democratic Committee.

Jaka begged the commission for a chance “to be treated like any other church,” and pointed out that many other mosque proposals across the country have been protested “under the guise of land use concerns,” but were largely insincere.

Some commissioners, like Alex Vanegas of the Coles District, wondered, “What are we trying to accomplish here with a delay?” and asked if they could just let county staff alter the plan once they’d voted to send a recommendation to supervisors.

But Commissioner Edgar Holley of the Neabsco District agreed with the chance for more time to review it, considering it would likely be “an action-only item on Dec. 7.”

“I really just feel we need to go over the conditions more closely to ensure the future safety of the area and not set a bad precedent here,” McKay said.

Tags

(7) comments

guiltyuntilproveninnocent

Citizen52 - I have spent hundreds and hundreds of hours researching the two primary local mosques and tributaries, their leaders, their activities, their ISIS members, and their sheep followers, which are necessary in order to serve the primary objective which is westward expansion in Prince William and Loudoun. The other Christian religious entities are not issuing letters to their members, everytime a member is arrested for ISIS activities advising them (I mean telling them) not to speak to the FBI. The Mosque uses control of the members through no/zero/Sharia interest federally approved loans (as you and I can't get 0% loans as a Christian but Muslims can because they are a protected person) as the Saudi/Mosque controlled entity dictates most in the life of the member. It's actually a great racket as the Saudis/mosque abuse our system and welfare system worse than any other group within our Country. The intent of ADAMS isn't short-term, it actually isn't about religion per say, it's about repopulation, control, branching out like a web until they have control of the populous, the government, the land, the money.... Don't get me wrong, religion is the apparent focus, but the other items are actually more important in the long term. Fortunately, this is America and Magid, Raka and others before them, who met in a Philadelphia in 1993, in an FBI undercover sting, discussed their plans and the hardships with their strategies. My previous comments are 100% accurate.... Should you want to buy a parcel of land adjacent to the new proposed Mosque, I offer you the invitation as three scenarios are likely. Your land value will decrease dramatically. The Mosque will lie about their promise of 300 parking spaces, as their actual membership is probably 2,000, as a massive problem in Ashburn, Virginia and the roadways will be a mess for PWC to pay the bill for. Friday's and many other peak times, for the multiple daily prayers, will create havoc on the quaint area and resettlement of Nokesville is likely to occur as further westward expansion is expected into Fauqier. They won't pay their "fair share" of proffers and always claim to be friendly neighbors yet are the cheapest folks in town, unless it's the federal governments money. The last scenario is, you end up like many others like the Imam who mysteriously "jumped" off the Route 123 bridge just a few years ago. The irony in his case was his family said he bucked the old school system, revolted against those like Magid (not in his Mosque), had no thoughts of suicide that is a sin, had no other problems, but strangely his vehicle before the very early morning prayer service (around 430 am) was in the opposite direction of the direction he should have been traveling. My Muslim friend said he was a good man, surrounded by other corrupt people, who wished him harm, which is what the family and many others have said.... The police have ruled his death a suicide..... I say that there are no religious zealots running around our surrounding counties, states, etc. killing in the name of Christianity, yet there have been dozens of recent murders and arrests related directly to Islam, which under liberal rule, Obama, Kerry, Clinton, Jolie, and the like still just can't understand.... The religion of peace they continue to say, yet, Magid, the leader of ADAMS, and previous president of ISNA, who openly and fully supports Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood and many, many other know terrorist organizations. Yes, there are many, many good folks, but the good folks need to weed out their corrupted leaders intent on imploding their religion within our Country, which only represents 1% at this time, but is the fastest growing.

DianDunn

Keep the Christ in Christmas, they said. Keep the prayer in classrooms, they said. Kim Davis has a right to uphold her beliefs within her duties, they said. These folks must behemently defend this freedom, as long as it's for their religion. Ger real. If worshiping your way mustn't be condemned, that means the preservation of the first admendment must be upheld across the board. Fear never hindered this right. We won't have it any other way.

Citizen52

It's always easy to trivialize and lampoon those things which you do not understand. It's easy to say "yes" to everything. It's much more important to take the time to analyze and make appropriate, rational decisions.

guiltyuntilproveninnocent

One other thought after looking at the map as I knew it was very close to the high school, but if it is approved, please make the mosque pay for 24/7 paid full military protection of the school. http://www.investigativeproject.org/maps/terrorism-map.php?open_case=310

Ess Kay

Yee haw! Folks! Beware the natives, beware the darkie, beware the Irish, beware the Japs, beware the commies, beware the ahabs. Folks, especially beware the Trumpkins and their dear leader. If you show fear, he will grab you by the [love]

guiltyuntilproveninnocent

Folks reading this, beware of ADAMS and everything they claim to be. Under liberal federal government their leaders are given awards and welcomed in the White House, well recently, but were considered and are still considered part of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, and fronts for many other organizations. Their Imam, Magid, was President in 2010 of ISNA, based in Indiana, as well as another leader and all of ISNA's BOD members are outspoken advocates about the overthrow of Israel, Sharia, death to America (capilph(ate) but doing it by legal means and many other demonstrative things that exist in our World including the terrorism that is on-going. The man recently charged and convicted of ISIS activities hailed from the ADAMS Mosque in Sterling and all they did was have CAIR release a prepackaged statement denouncing the incident, but never even acknowledged him as a member. Many of members of the Hoadly Road Mosque have been convicted of ISIS activities too, but it is a separate mosque, but under the realm of MAV (Muslim Association of Virginia) as they are all tied into together. Most patrons are sheep and probably decent folks, but the leaders are scary folks. I have a good Muslim friend of over 25+ years, as he was born and raised here, and he has always been concerned about recent on-goings. In closing, do some research as ADAMS was deemed an un-indicted co-conspirator to terrorism and required to forfeit the $250,000.00 that came from Saudi Arabia, which originally started their main mosque way back around 1984 or so. What it means was, the web of people was so extensive, and reached so heavily into the US and internationally, shortly after 9-11, that it would have been necessary to shut down every mosque in our Country to effectively rid ourselves of the problem, which Bush should have done, but he was gutless and didn't, and opted to "fine" the mosque instead. Now, Magid and the leaders hobnob with Obama and the liberals, and many republicans, while repopulating at a massive rate, and inciting hatred for the old-school US, republican-minded Jews and those who don't think or believe like them (read their charter) behind the scenes, which creates the ISIS folks, which they blame on the Internet.

insidebugs

300 hundred parking spots??? Wow! I guess we know where Obama has been sending all the refugees this year!

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.