BZA approves parking lot shift for Carmel mosque

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The Carmel Board of Zoning Appeals voted 4-1 Jan. 27 in favor of moving the parking lot at Al Salam Foundation’s planned Islamic Life Center from the west to the north and south sides of the building near Shelborne Road and 141st Street. The rearranged lot will have 107 spaces as previously proposed.

Construction on Carmel’s first mosque is expected to begin this year.

More than a dozen people spoke in support of the project, with many saying Al Salam has already proven to be a good neighbor and will be beneficial to the community.

A few residents who live near the site expressed concerns. Some wanted Al Salam to reveal if it has plans to build additional structures on vacant land north of the approved mosque in the future.

Paul Reis, an attorney who spoke on behalf of Al Salam, said the BZA would have to hold public hearings and approve construction of any additional buildings.

“There is not a requirement at this point to provide a comprehensive plan (for the site), but if in the future there is a change and a proposed structure the petitioner will come back to this board, present it and everybody will have the same opportunity they had this evening to respond,” Reis said.

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