Research doesn’t back up McCarthy’s mosque claims

Councilman David McCarthy (R-District E)
Former Norwalk Zoning Commissioner and Councilman David McCarthy (R-District E), right, attends the recent Zoning Commission public hearing on the proposed settlement with the Al Madany Islamic Center.

NORWALK, Conn. – Trying to squeeze anything the size of the proposed Al Madany Islamic Center’s mosque onto an acre and a half would be scary, Councilman David McCarthy (R-District E) said.

The comments McCarthy made about the mosque after last week’s council meeting have been contradicted by some people, including lawyers and former zoning commissioners. But, on Monday, McCarthy stood behind the comments and elaborated upon them.

The idea that the proposed mosque fits the zoning regulations is “the biggest misconception,” McCarthy said.

“I don’t understand why people seem to continually ‘thump, thump, thump’ on this,” McCarthy said. “In a triple A residential zone houses of worship are allowed by special permit. The qualification for a special permit – go and read it, I can’t quote it to you off the top of my head – but the number one guiding piece of the regulation is that the structure be in harmony with the neighborhood and it goes on from there to list those things. When people say it somehow fits in zoning they are trying to create a case for something that doesn’t exist. There are a set of standards that if something is outside those (standards) it’s an immediate rejection, there’s no hearing, and that’s valid. If it’s inside those extremely liberal guidelines then it can proceed to the special permit phase.

“There have been zoning commissioners who have said they were told that it complies with zoning,” he said. “To me that says they were not paying attention to the instructions they were given. That is not the way it works. There is a set of guidelines. If it’s outside those guidelines it’s an immediate rejection.”

The guidelines for a special permit are on the city’s website and are different from what McCarthy quoted. If you go to this link, you’ll find the special permit standards that McCarthy referred to on page 8.

“A special permit may be granted after determination by the commission that the proposed use or structure is in harmony with the general purpose and intent of these regulations and after consideration of the following conditions where applicable,” the passage says.

The only other mention of “harmony” in the standards is in clause “F,” under the above definition: “signs of size and design that are in harmony with the neighborhood.”

This is the same passage that Norwalker Isabelle Hargrove shouted at the Zoning Commission about during the commission’s recent public hearing on the proposed settlement. Planning and Zoning Director Mike Greene told her the reference of “harmony with the neighborhood” only applies to signs.

“David McCarthy should re-read the sections pertaining to special permits, because it seems to me the wording does not precisely agree with his memory,”  former Zoning Commission Chairwoman Dorothy Mobilia said in an email, in which she attached a screen shot of the city site definition regarding special permits. She qualified her remarks by saying she left the commission in 2006, but said she had reviewed special permit uses and structures on the city’s website before responding.

McCarthy was sworn onto on the Zoning Commission on July 13, 2010, City Clerk Donna King said. McCarthy said he left the commission in November 2011 after being elected to the council, and participated in discussions about the first application submitted by Al Madany, which included a driveway that exited directly into the intersection – another reason to call the plan scary, he said.

Asked about the possibility of the city paying millions of dollars to pursue the lawsuit only to have the Al Madany Islamic Center resubmit the proposal that has been drawn up as part of the settlement, which passed the zoning regulations according to a number of people, McCarthy said, “All those things are false. I mean, we have been put in a very awkward position.”

The Zoning Commission’s public hearing was inadequately noticed, he said. “They were going to have a public hearing and they didn’t,” he said.

Look it up, he said: The agenda for the meeting said public hearing but the first thing Attorney Joseph Williams, who represents the commission said was “This is not a public hearing,” McCarthy said.

It’s true that Williams said, “this is not a public hearing.”

His full statement was:

“The purpose of tonight: This is a public meeting for the purpose of giving the public an opportunity to comment on a proposed settlement of litigation that was brought by the Al Madany Islamic Center against the city and the Zoning Commission. Just as an FYI, really, the Zoning Commission, although it is not required to hold a public hearing or to receive public comment on a settlement, wanted to allow that opportunity to the public. But that means, just for technical purposes, this is not a public hearing on an application in the normal sense that people are used to seeing.  There will not be a presentation by the applicant or experts speaking and responding to each other and asking questions, that type of thing that you would normally see in a public hearing.”

McCarthy said that there was no application before the Zoning Commission.

“When the first application was rejected it was dead. That’s the way zoning works, look it up. Was another application made? No,” McCarthy said. “They went to federal court. … There was never another application made.”

If there were an application then the abutting neighbors should have received notification of the Zoning Commission’s intention to rule on a building going up in their neighborhood, he said. But, “There was not an application to the Zoning Commission, then it couldn’t have been approved,” he said. “I don’t think that’s in their power (to approve a settlement). The only thing a Zoning Commission can do is approve or deny applications.”

“I do know that the ZC is rarely sued, because it tries to adhere to the provisions for special permits,” Mobilia said.

Attorney Victor Cavallo also asserted during the commission’s public hearing that it had no right to vote on the mosque’s plan, because it had no application before it. Williams responded that the commission had been sued and was voting on a settlement.

The commission listed nine reasons when it turned down the mosque application in 2012.

“I maintain to you, and I said it in albeit a hurried manner … that the nine reasons are all still valid,” McCarthy said. “I would say that to anybody that wishes to discuss them. Some of them have been addressed slightly, like the parking. … But again, I would say half of the parking spots are what they call valet spots. To me, stable traffic flow is not established by having parking spaces that block other people in. There is no way that actually works on the average given day that lot is going to be used unless you devote the people to directing traffic and all those things, which I don’t think anybody wants to put the people who are running that site in. You should have a stable traffic flow that supports the structure and that parking lot.”

Attorney Chris Bouchoux of WilmerHale, lawyer for Al Madany, declined to respond to that.

“Ask anyone else,” McCarthy said. “Ask any person who has been involved in this, including Mario Coppola, the nine reasons were valid. If those reasons for rejection per Mario Coppola were absolutely well reasoned and factual, then I look at the settlement proposal, what’s changed? Does 3-foot 10-inches somehow make a difference that addresses the bulk of the building? I suggest to you the answer is no. Any person who looked at both applications, the 2012 version and the settlement version, from the street there is virtually no difference. Therefore all the reasons for rejection still stand.”


31 responses to “Research doesn’t back up McCarthy’s mosque claims”

  1. David McCarthy

    I read this and am still not sure what I am supposedly wrong about. I see that Ms. Mobilia, whom I’ve never met, seems to disagree with me, but I’m not sure what she was even asked, so I can’t even tell if that is the case.

    If I’m not correct, why are there even hearings at all on initial applications? Why do we have a zoning commission? Why aren’t they approved at the counter? How can Mario Coppola and other attorneys say the initial denial was valid if it was somehow inside these magical limits?

  2. One and Done.

    Has the judge even seen the property in question? Only a raving lunatic would think this property in this location is suitable for this size facility. Either that or an extortionist.

  3. Dorothy Mobilia

    David: 118-320 AA Residence Zones reads, “Purpose and intent. It is the purpose of this zone to provide areas for single-family dwellings and other compatible uses on lots with an area of one-half (1/2) acre or more. Certain other uses consistent with the allowed density may be permitted by Special Permit. It is intended that all uses be harmonious with local street characteristics and the limitation of available utilities and other public services.”
    That’s a bit different from your recall, as quoted in Nancy’s article: “The qualification for a special permit – go and read it, I can’t quote it to you off the top of my head – but the number one guiding piece of the regulation is that the structure be in harmony with the neighborhood and it goes on from there to list those things.”
    In other words, the constraints are physical and objective, not subjective. You can read my quoted passage online on the city site in Article 30 Residential Zones. It’s not about whether or not we have met.

  4. It’s just laws.

    The mosque has said on the record they never would have bought this property if the existing zoning code didn’t allow it at the size they submitted. In fact, the zoning staff helped them design it to what the code would allow for size, setbacks, coverage, and parking, which was explained on the record at the last Common Council hearing by the applicant, and this fact was not denied by staff or ever challenged by anyone. McCarthy can pretend he has his own facts all he wants, but that doesn’t change the reality of what actually happened.
    If the original application did not meet the existing code, the applicant would have needed variances, which were never requested as they weren’t necessary. The applicant has said many times that they made sure their original proposal met all existing codes, which it did. That is a fact that no amount of bloviating or obvious political grandstanding by McCarthy can change.
    There was indeed an extra level of scrutiny with a Special Permit that this particular religious use needed in this AAA zone, along with other allowed uses such as schools, museums, firehouses, restaurants, etc. But Norwalk’s Special Permit conditions are so poorly written and subjective that the appeal lawsuit (linked here on Nancy on Norwalk many times) easily picked them apart point by point, including the fact that no other religious institution in a AAA zone in Norwalk ever had the same scrutiny as the mosque, including McCarthy’s own church St Matthews just across the park from the mosque site that seats 1,079 and has 2,400 member families, and was never required to even have one traffic study let alone two as the mosque was required to. It was not hard to prove a double standard was at work here, guaranteeing a swift win in court.

    It was a risky and dangerous move by McCarthy and the RTC to take this to the brink just to try to score political points against the mayor, and it should be exposed for what it really is: an irresponsible act risking millions to all Norwalk taxpayers and businesses across the city in service cuts and higher taxes. Go ask the residents of Greenburgh, NY, our neighbor over in Westchester County, how they like their sudden $6 million liability after they lost their court battle.
    Where will McCarthy and the RTC be when the city gets hit with this huge liability we can’t afford? No doubt they will be pointing fingers at everyone but themselves. And the discriminatory position that the RTC is taking that property values will get depressed over the proximity to the mosque site is not supported by any facts anywhere in the country (in fact the opposite is true). This reveals a deep-seated fear of “others” that Mr. McCarthy is probably not even aware of how obvious this is to so many others in Norwalk, as he maintains this irrational bias in so many of his statements including his insistence in this article that the application did not follow the zoning code, when it clearly did based on the record.

  5. Lisa Thomson

    Mr. McCarthy, while being an active opponent of the mosque, has been as silent as the dead, when it comes to the 2 Nearwater property located on Farm Creek.

    NON readers should be aware that I have actively campaigned against P&Z allowing a house(s) to be built on a trolley line in a wetlands since the townsfolk found out about the plans a year ago. Interestingly, yesterday, I discovered the business card of an employee of the City Of Norwalk, Special Constable of Ordinance Enforcement from the Dept. Of. Public Works in my front door last night. No doubt, it is in reference to the banners on my wall on my property, protesting the building in the wetlands, reforming P&Z and Saving Farm Creek.

    Overdevelopment, blight, vacant commercial lots, wetlands, Mc mansions, etc. are allowed in Norwalk, but exercise your right to free speech and the city cracks down.

    I have one question… Why is DPW coming over to my house on what I suspect is an interpretation of P&Z sign or “banner’ regulations?

    Stay tuned ….

  6. Scott

    I know that I’ve repeated this until I’m blue in the face but no one has directly answered the question. Would the average citizen be allowed to build the same structure in that location? If the answer is no then Al Madany should be told to submit a design that would be conforming. No special rules for special people. No one is any better than anyone else. No line jumpers. No breakdown lane drivers during rush hour. No privileged group. Equal.

  7. peter parker

    I usually don’t agree with Mr. McCarthy, but he is right on the money on this issue. McCarthy keep up the fight. This Mosque should not be built as currently proposed. It’s way too large for the sight.

  8. Jeff

    Are there not noise ordinances in this town? For crying out loud, is the neighborhood suppose to tolerate the noise of several hundreds of car doors slamming concurrently at 5am almost every morning? This is a disturbance of the peace that no amount of trees or shrubs planted will be able to suppress. . . or perhaps this group can go back to the drawing board and propose I-95 sound barriers. Hats off to Councilman McCarthy for having the back of his constituents. What’s surprising, is the proponents of this structure seam to be using the same regurgitated arguments but can not point to any similar size structure on only 1.5 acres of land. Sorry no comparison to St. Mathews. It has a deep setback on an adequate (+20acre) size parcel.

  9. LWitherspoon

    Mr. McCarthy acknowledged that he couldn’t recite the regulation word for word, and what Ms. Mobilia quoted suggests that Mr. McCarthy may be correct when he says that structures need to be in harmony with the surroundings in order to qualify for a special permit.
    “It is intended that all uses be harmonious with local street characteristics…”
    Who and what determines whether Al Madany’s use is harmonious with local street characteristics? If there is nothing comparable to Al Madany’s size on the immediate neighborhood’s streets, is it reasonable to say that Al Madany’s use is harmonious with local street characteristics?

  10. Don’t Panic

    Mr. McCarthy was incensed about the alleged $25k for a public hearing on the waste-water treatment plant requested in good faith by citizen petition, but is prepared to have the city spend millions fighting the Islamic Center. I guess East Norwalk citizens do not require his protection as much as West Norwalk citizens do.

  11. EveT

    In answer to @Scott: It does not matter if the average citizen would be allowed to build this size building on that size lot. RLUIPA gives special treatment to religious organizations.
    The essence of the case is stated well by @It’s just laws: “no other religious institution in a AAA zone in Norwalk ever had the same scrutiny as the mosque…. It was not hard to prove a double standard was at work here, guaranteeing a swift win in court.”

  12. Scott

    EveT you miss my point. I don’t care if they worship Christ, Zeus or trees. No group or individual should enjoy rights greater than the individual citizen. That is exactly why RLUIPA should be unconstitutional in this application period. Just because political parties ram through laws when they have an opportunity does not make them right.

  13. It’s just laws.

    L Witnerspoon, you bring up an interesting point about “harmony”, obviously a subjective term. So let’s put this mosque site in its actual context. Take a look at Google Earth or any aerial view of this area. Here’s what you will see in the West Norwalk AA and AAA residence neighborhood within a half mile of the mosque site, which equals a one-minute drive or 10 minute walk:

    1)Three condo developments with sprawling buildings and huge parking lots for hundreds of cars that exceed the size of the mosque by up to 15 times, directly across the street or just around the corner.
    2) 3 Schools with about 500 students and 80 staff each, that are many times larger than the size of the mosque.

    3.) 2 large churches and a large regional synagogue. One of those churches, St. Matthews, is more than twice the size of the mosque.
    4). Oak Hills 18 hole public golf course with a 20,000 square foot restaurant and at least 200 parking spaces.
    5) Dolce Conference Center and Hotel that can handle large events like weddings and fundraisers for hundreds of guests.
    6) Norwalk Community College with 11,000 students.


    If you look at all these major facilities within a half-mile of the mosque, some right across the street, how can you say the mosque is not in harmony in a neighborhood that already has this many major facilities, many dwarfing the mosque in size, already? It’s like some people suddenly think West Norwalk is in rural Litchfield County and not in a city of 85,000 people with a need for facilities to match, which is why our code allows all of the listed facilities to exist in our AAA residence zones. When anyone says this particular use is not “in harmony” here, but all the others are including other religious institutions that are larger, what exactly are they saying? Think about it.
    Also think about this: if the mosque were to find another site that was say 3 acres, let’s say directly next door or across the street from St Matthews that is twice it’s size, would it still be considered out of harmony for the area? Would Mr. McCarthy and others suddenly welcome them with open arms?

  14. Jeff

    Really? A double standard would only apply to like and kind structures. . . Once again, no one can to point to any super-sized structure on a 1.5 acre parcel in a AAA residential/near a school zone . . . Attempting to exploit loopholes in our existing zoning ordinance and angling for monetary compensation is not welcome by most rational minds.

  15. One and Done.

    @ItsJustLies. You conveniently left out the fact that all of those developments have one other thing in common….MASSIVE tracts of land that support the facilities and usage absent a convergence of two main roads around a sharp downgrade turn.

  16. It’s just laws.

    Scott and Eve T, believe it or not, our code would currently allow a single family house on the mosque site exactly the same size as the mosque, with the same lot coverage, setbacks, and bulk, if anyone came along and wanted to build such a home there. The only exception would be that the house could not have a minaret because steeples and minarets as religious necessities are exempt from height codes in Norwalk just as they are in the rest of the country.
    Norwalk is unique in Fairfield County and probably belongs to a small minority of towns (the rest are probably in that bastion of anti-regulation property rights fanatics in Texas) that have no limits in FAR (floor area ratio, that limits size) in residence zones. The property rights advocates under decades of Republican mayors helped make sure of that, since Norwalk once had FAR restrictions in residence zones like most other municipalities have until they were deliberately eliminated by the current staff and previous commission members. Now the mosque neighbors find themselves enjoying the consequences of that long-established policy position. The same “property rights” code with no FAR limits that allows David McCarthy to live in a huge new house that dwarfs nearby historic fisherman’s cottages in Rowayton is the same code that allowed the mosque to be designed to the size it was proposed at , and which encouraged them to buy the property in the first place. It is ironic to suddenly see all the property rights advocates who enjoyed decades of little control and enormous profits from hundreds of teardowns and replacements of historic homes in places like Rowayton now suddenly act like property rights of owners don’t matter at all, when the application is one they don’t like. File that under obvious hypocrisy.

  17. Scott

    I,like the mosque,own a corner lot and was severely restricted in the size and location of my driveway exit. I would hope that the same restrictions apply. And which street do they have to meet front setbacks on?

  18. Kevin Di Mauro

    Corp. Counsel Mario Coppola should request that the case against the City of Norwalk be dismissed. Let Al Madany pursue their claim of discrimination in court.

    If Al Madany wants to continue their attempts to build a Mosque at their current location, they should submit a new, revised application to zoning.

    These seem to be two separate legal issues which will eventually effect all of Norwalk, not just West Norwalk.

    1. Mark Chapman

      @Kevin Di Mauro

      The city tried to get the suit tossed in April 2013. Last fall the court turned that motion down and llowed the suit to continue. They are pursuing that claim in court. Unless thee settlement is rejected by the city and th city wins in court, they don;t have to submit a new plan.

      If the city wins in court, Al Madany can submit a revised plan incorporating everything zoning has agreed to, which is what the commission approved last week. Another rejection would likely result in another costly trial.

      If the city loses in court, Al Madany can build the original, bigger mosque.

      If they settle, Al Madany gets to build the current mosque.

      In each scenario, they possibility exists that Al Madny and the city could find an alternate site.

  19. Suzanne

    Please clarify: It seems this existing version of the mosque has either smaller adjacent classrooms or none at all. Also, as I understand it, the separate multi-purpose room would be eliminated. If this is the case (and please correct what changes I have missed), why would Al Madany want to continue pursuing building on this site if it does not meet their needs?
    I find it so interesting, this census of West Norwalk that indicates the number and size of schools, places of worship, recreational areas. One would be led to believe the area is saturated with facilities. One more on an undersized lot – whether meeting the Zoning criteria or not – does not seem reasonable.
    I think perfectly reasonable people who have spent their lives and livelihood to create homes of a reasonable size and scope for the area have a right to protest the incursion of this over-sized building on a dangerous intersection. If an individual proposed such a home, as mentioned above, I would imagine their application would be thrown out as quickly as Al-Madany’s initial efforts.
    I do have a hard time with Mr. McCarthy and his advocacy, no matter how well intended. It feels like self promotion and an after the fact voice that can’t get his facts straight. I don’t know where he lives or what he lives in but taking up this cause so vociferously does defy the imagination if he lives in Rowayton and has said nothing about the conservation efforts there. Self promotion does not serve the community.

  20. EveT

    If it is true, as @It’s just laws writes, that Nrwalk’s “code would currently allow a single family house on the mosque site exactly the same size as the mosque, with the same lot coverage, setbacks, and bulk,” then how can Mr. McCarthy say the proposed mosque does not conform to zoning code?

  21. Kevin Di Mauro


    Get some ZZZZZs. You’re no more of an attorney than I am. But thanks for the retort.

    1. Mark Chapman


      No ZZZ’s for a while. And I am no attorney, nor have I ever played one on TV, but I am repeating to you what they have said. That’s what we reporter/editor types do. Except for certain alleged reporters. And it is getting hard to tell the good ones from the bad ones, I will admit!

  22. Dennis DiManis

    All the big facilities in that area should have been built downtown…if they had been, Norwalk would have a vibrant thriving downtown instead of a disgusting dump. Vote everybody out and start fresh.

  23. One and Done.

    @Its just lies. Another non comparison you make. Or are you trying to tell us if some idiot decided to build a 30,000 SF house there they would have several hundred cars coming and going each day? Try again.

  24. Hobbes the Calvinist

    Trying to track any facts on this Bash-Dave-McCarthy thread is like the tourist to Australia habitually flushing the toilet to see if the water really does flush counter-clockwise Down Under- whatever you might learn is largely worthless and in the end it’s just about the spin.

    Of course, reading that Rowayton is a quaint village of small fisherman’s shacks (from the time-travel-travel-guide of “It’s Just Laws”) provided some comic relief.

    McCarthy is right- decisions on special permits are guided by the character of the area they’ll impact. A landowner doesn’t have a right to a special permit- each is decided on an case by case basis (that’s what makes them “special”).

    The Church mentioned by Its Just Laws was originally built when West Norwalk was much less densely populated. Yes, that makes a difference. Different rules apply to public schools than to private structures- guess that encouraging public education for all is important to society.

    The cheap shots by Lisa Thompson are just that- a thinly veiled diatribe that adds neither substance nor wit to the debate but does inject a healthy dose of ego.

    The law allowing religious houses of worship to be built without discrimination is a good law. It doesn’t give a religious group the right to build whatever they want- it doesn’t give a religious group the right to attach a gym or office building or conference center to a house of worship. It just gives people the right to build their own church, shul, temple or mosque. In Norwalk, that same law seems to give some people the right to build a solid wall of misinformation, ego and animosity in a debate to which one thoughtful common councilor is trying to bring a clearer understanding of the local regulations.

  25. It’s Just Laws.

    @Hobbes, and One and Done: Both of you are misinformed. Norwalk has no FAR size limits in residential zones, thanks to previous decisions by Republican property rights advocates, which has allowed Rowayton to be transformed from a New England fishing village into a jarring collection of overscale McMansions that often crowd out their smaller neighbors. You can drive around and see this, or just look at an aerial of Rowayton to see all the homes without any yards that dwarf their neighbors. Most of these overscale homes, including the one Mr. McCarthy lives in, were built since Norwalk eliminated the FAR standards that most other cities around the country have in place to to limit the size of buildings on their lots in residence zones. The same zoning rules that allow these overscale homes on small lots are what encouraged the mosque to buy the site in West Norwalk and come up with a plan, with city staff’s help, that followed our code precisely (despite the attempt to McCartrhy to pretend this isnt true) was then rejected for being too big. Hence the lawsuit. The zoning code created the entire situation.
    Cobbes says that St. Matthews was there when West Norwalk was less crowded. True, it was built in 1960. But in 2003, St. Matthews applied for a special permit to double their size and capacity, from about 500 to 1,079, and to a “livable space” size of close to 50,000 square feet, compared to the mosque “livable space” size of 21,000 square feet. That expansion in capacity, just 11 years ago, roughly equaled the total size of the mosque. Yet that saw no neighborhood opposition, and the city waived the need for any traffic studies. This is all listed in the lawsuit linked previously by Nancy on Norwalk.
    As I have asked previously, if the mosque were to buy a larger property in West Norwalk, an dbuild a fcaility that was as large as St. Matthews let’s say, would Mr. McCarthy and others welcome them with open arms? The argument against the mosque seems to flip between too much traffic or the scale of it on the site. In St Matthews case just 11 years earlier, a similar expansion that doubled the capacity to 1,079 didn’t bother anyone in West Norwalk. The recent discussion about the driving range in Oak Hills Park, expected to draw thousands every week, also did not bother most people in West Norwalk except for a few. So if it’s the traffic, why the double standard for the driving range or St. Matthews which both got free rides from the city? If it’s the scale that bothers people, then why does our code allow that size building on that lot, which it does? The recent Oak Hills Master Plan didn’t even bother with a traffic study, and the Common Council and Zoning Commission still let it sail through.

    It is clear that there are officials in Norwalk willing to manipulate emotion and fear with misinformation for their own personal gain, no matter what the cost to city taxpayers or our reputation.

  26. Suzanne

    Once again, and why does this have to be repeated, St. Matthews is situated on large piece of land that can accommodate both parking and facilities without incursion into the neighborhood. It also has clear entrance and exit to Scribner without blind curves or hills despite some comments to the contrary.
    There has been vociferous objections to the “Master Plan” from the OHPA and prepared by the vendor for the driving range. There has been strong objection to the fact that this Master Plan did not use specified procedures used by every public park in Norwalk but used the potential profit-maker to prepare the report. The lack of a traffic study was glaring and noted by many, not just a few, on these very threads.
    There is no double standard here. Al-Madany would be welcomed if the amount of land they purchased was sizable enough to accommodate their mosque safely and in an area where such a large structure was not shoe-horned into such a small piece of land in a residential area.
    People have pointed to the condominiums across the street: please note that these structures have ample surround to accommodate parking and traffic and are of a height suitable to the neighborhood. Not so with the mosque.
    These are false and unequal comparisons for obvious reasons: mosque vs. St. Matthews and Oak Hills and their exhaustive repetition, though allowed, are beyond tiresome.

  27. sofaman

    Wait, the zoning law changes pushed by those that actually like those McMansions is now allowing this mosque to make a case for similar acceptance? I’m not sure I’ll be able to stop laughing.

  28. EveT

    One correction to @It’s just laws: Common Council has not approved the Oak Hills Park master plan. It has not even come up yet in the Rec & Parks committee of Common Council.

  29. Scott

    So my question is if Norwalk did have an FAR standard that Al Madany would have complied with it or would they still have shoved RLUIPA down our throats? And I whole heartily agree with Suzanne – different piece of property, different location – it’s not apples to apples

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