The Prince William County Planning Commission voted for approval of Dar Al Noor’s mosque expansion on Thursday, Nov. 7, by a vote of 5-3.
The Muslim Association of Virginia is requesting a special use permit from Prince William County to expand its Dar Al Noor mosque and community center from 12,000 square feet to 88,276 square feet. The request still requires approval by the Board of County Supervisors.
The expansion of the mosque, located at 5404 Hoadly Road, would allow for a prayer hall, administrative offices, multi-purpose banquet hall, youth and senior center, meeting rooms, play areas, child care and a private school for kindergarten through 8th grade and an auditorium. In addition, the center could also open a medical clinic to support the mosque.
Muslim Association of Virginia was granted a special use permit with the expectation of meeting the following seven conditions:
A draft for the parking management plan will be prepared and reviewed before consideration by the Board of County Supervisors
The parking management plan must be reviewed annually with county transportation staff to ensure space is adequate
If the Queen Chapel and Hoadly roads intersection warrants a traffic light upon updated inspection, then the applicant will be asked to contribute to that cost
The applicant’s sidewalk must extend to meet the remaining walkway
A traffic management plan must be put in place for special events
Six policemen will be paid for by the applicant to mitigate safety and traffic impact on Friday prayer times and special events
The applicant must complete a courtesy review for the site plan
A traffic management plan for the project will include a memorandum of understanding that outlines special event times, overflow traffic and detail of overflow direction. Muslim Association of Virginia has until Feb. 4 to satisfy these requirements and present to the board of supervisors.
The motion to approve Dar Al Noor’s request was made by Coles District Planning Commissioner Austin B. Haynes, Jr. and seconded by Potomac District Planning Commissioner and Vice Chairman Rene M. Fry.
Gainesville District Planning Commissioner Richard R. Berry, Brentsville Planning Commissioner Patti McKay and Woodbridge Planning Commissioner Cynthia Moses-Need were in opposition to expansion.
Hundreds of community members showed up to speak for the public hearing. The event ended at 1:30 a.m.
Additional suggestions on Wednesday night and Thursday morning included amending clinic hours to close before 4 p.m., directing police officers to allow oncoming traffic preference over the mosque and community center and further discussion of Lost Creek Court with transportation staff. This discussion may include possible excavation of the road to account for left hand turns.
Though citizens were tired and hungry, Haynes applauded the crowd for their fervor and professionalism at the podium.
“I want to thank both the citizens that were in favor and the citizens that were opposed, but especially the citizens that were opposed,” Haynes said. “I have been through another mosque before, one in our neighborhood .. that was extremely contentious, and the level of commentary was beneath the average citizen.
“The folks that came in here tonight, the folks that sent me emails were nothing but professional. I could not be happier with the tone of the conversation here.”