Prince William planners to consider mosque expansion, private school plans

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.”

Prince William planners to consider mosque expansion, private school
Around Prince William: Dar Al Noor’s expansion celebrates diversity

(16) comments

Tom Fitzpatrick

This is not a mosque. This is a city. Or, more accurately, a city state.

InsideCommenter

More like an Islamic Community Center, with religious and non religious components.

Tom Fitzpatrick

No. It is not a "community center."

Show me one other "community center" of this size or scope, regardless of tacit religious affiliation.

This is a city state, meant to be nearly autonomous, and it is huge. It will be very disruptive to traffic and other activities in this critical cross roads in the County. We didn't pay for all those roads and the police department and the fire department to be in the service of one huge entity. Especially one that won't be paying taxes on very valuable real estate.

InsideCommenter

Sounds like a community center bud "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. "

Tom Fitzpatrick

I'm not your bud. I don't know anyone named "InsideCommenter."

This is not a Community Center. It is a privately owned, operated and, most importantly, utilized city state. I do not believe it will be open to anyone in the "community." Am I wrong about that?

This is a HUGE city state. Operating and using taxpayer resources, while not itself paying taxes on very valuable real estate, and the size and traffic it brings will threaten the surrounding property values. It should be judged and dealt with accordingly.

larryclyons

So you have major objects to this, and yet not a peep when such mega churches like Chapel Springs etc were built.

If you don't object to the Christianist "city states" then objecting to an islamic one is just religious hypocrisy.

Tom Fitzpatrick

This is much, MUCH more than a church. That is beyond debate. It is clearly stated.

Religion has nothing to do with it, except for the inclusion of activities under the tax exempt umbrella that have no business there. Traffic, and expense, are bad, period.

insidebugging

How ridiculous can the county be to approve a monstrosity like that? Would love to know how many bribes were paid to get that thing approved?

Michelle C

If that is a “monstrosity” then what do you call Harvest Life Changers on Neabsco? It’s a cool 204,000 square feet that sits in the island between Route 1 and Neabsco- potentially disrupting one of the most traffic-weary areas in Woodbridge.

Friday prayer at the mosque occurs at noon, not rush hour, and affects only the stay at home moms/dads and teleworkers who might need to pick up groceries at Harris Teeter.

Tom Fitzpatrick

Traffic is very heavy in that part (and most) of the county all day long, including at Noon.

Tom Fitzpatrick

They are called "campaign contributions." Not bribes.

larryclyons

And you know this how? Shouldn't you be taking with the police about the bribery based on your so called Secret Evidence?

Or should we just skip all the drama and using Hitchen's Razor, simply conclude that you're making it up.

What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence.

— Christopher Hitchens

Tom Fitzpatrick

Evidence is in abundance.

Look at campaign contributions. Look at approved developments. Compare.

Or, are we to simply conclude that you are an idiot?

Localguy

Many Muslims make positive contributions to our community, but Hoadly Road is the wrong place for expansion. Traffic is already a problem on this 2 lane road. The mosque has heavy use throughout the entire week, not just Fridays and religious holidays. Email your county supervisor if you have objections. Traffic merging onto Hoadly from the mosque should be monitored by VDOT to get a real picture of activity. Added facilities like a school and medical facility are better suited in a commercial area such as Smoketown or Prince William parkway. Also the proposed towers look like the ones abroad that project call to prayer speakers. They say this is not the case, but after construction, that may be the next permit request. Somehow I sense that the special requests will keep coming.

RichardVanOwen

It's a beautiful building but, man, I hope they do something about the traffic back-up. As it is, I get stuck here for extended periods of time, so I can't imagine how bad it'll be once the size has increased.

Tom Fitzpatrick

There have been a lot of anonymous comments here, trying, once again, to paint anyone who disagrees with them as racist, or some other "ist."

That's disgusting, and I for one won't stand for it.

I'd like to point out that very recently I made a series of comments regarding the poorly planned traffic lights and patterns associated with the forthcoming Kaiser Permanente Hub being built on Minnieville and Caton Hill Roads.

To my knowledge, Kaiser Permanente has no religious or racial affiliation. IT DOES HAVE TRAFFIC AND ECONOMIC IMPACTS. At least it will provide high paying jobs and pay taxes, and will be open to any Kaiser Member regardless of religious affiliation or racial background.

I will call out the ACTUAL racists who for far too long have gotten their way simply by threatening to libel and slander citizens through false labels and lies. I won't cower in fear. I will expose you.

You have been warned. It is time that other people stand up for equal treatment under the law, as well.

Now, treat this city state as the huge proposal it is, and evaluate it accordingly. Approving it would prove to be a huge mistake.

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