Multicultural News

Mosque development plan gets pushback in Brownsburg

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (WISH) — The Islamic community is looking to expand in Hendricks County, but they are facing some pushback.

The plan is to build a mosque and community center on the old Clermont golf course, but the area would need to be rezoned to make it happen.

A new petition against the project is getting support. Some people said they are concerned with the environment, with others saying they just don’t want a mosque in their backyard.

You’ll find a quiet community down the county road leading to the old Clermont golf course in Brownsburg. It’s an empty lot now, but if developers have their way it would be home to the new Clermont Village. It’ll have an Islamic seminary, a community center, a mosque and residential space.

“I had a couple of neighbors come to the door and say it’s an Islamic center where there’s going to be a mosque,” said Brownsburg resident Sarah Whitford.

Right now it’s only an idea. Developers have submitted the application to get the area rezoned so they could build here.

But just the idea was enough for some community members to start a petition. The petition cites flooding, environmental and traffic concerns. It also says the area is agricultural land and that’s why many people chose to live there.

Whitford is still unsure about what it all means but said there is some concern about potential impact on property value.

“Kind of against it. There’s way more other places. This neighborhood has been like this for a long time. It’s a big change to this neighborhood,” she said.

However, other commenters on the petition call the development evil. Another wrote it’s not compatible with their values.

Developers of the Clermont Village declined News 8’s request for an interview, but the seminary president, Shamaas Nyazee, sent a statement.

“These comments hurt, but nonetheless, we love Hendricks County and we know that these comments don’t reflect the true nature of the community. We’ve worked very hard to ensure that Clermont Village is a safe, walkable place that meets the highest standard of any application and we look forward to being a part of this neighborhood. We’re entitled to a process that’s fair and impartial. That’s all we ask for.”

— Shamaas Nyazee, president of the AlHussnain Seminary that will be relocated to Clermont Village:

County officials will review the application and then discuss it in a public hearing. From there, elected officials will vote on if they’ll rezone the area.

The public hearing will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, but with COVID-19 precautions, only a few people will be allowed in. So people are being asked to submit their questions ahead of time.