A citizens’ group is again encouraging its neighbors to support its battle against the building of an Islamic mosque in a historic section of the township with their attendance, and their dollars. (Where is a Gavin Boby ‘MosqueBusters’ when we need one?)
NJ.com The Bernards Township Citizens for Responsible Development is asking its neighbors to attend the Bernards Township Planning Board meeting at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Municipal Building in Basking Ridge to help convince the planning board not to grant a site plan approval to the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge, Inc. for a 4,250-square-foot mosque with two 35′ ft minarets at 124 Church St. where a 1950s-style ranch house currently stands.
Hearings on this mosque issue are well-attended by opponents
The opponents have attended a number of planning board meetings since the proposal was first presented in September of last year. They have cited concerns over traffic and parking issues, the proximity to the Liberty Corner Firehouse, and potential environmental issues. The group is requesting donations on its website to support its efforts.
Current residential property that Muslims want to turn into a mosque
“At the hearings to date, our attorney and members of the public have pointed out the inconsistencies and inadequacies of the (society’s) proposal and experts, particularly their confusing statements about the estimated size of the congregation and its parking need,” the residents’ group wrote in a letter to the community. The society has proposed building 50 parking spaces for the mosque, which its lawyer said is the adequate number under a township ordinance specifying off-street parking requirements for churches.
Proposed mosque will have two 35′ towering minarets that shout ‘BEWARE! Sharia has entered the neighborhood”
But town has asked the society to increase the number of parking spaces to 110. In a Jan. 3 memo to the planning board, board attorney Jonathan Drill and board planner David Banisch said “while a mosque use is similar to a church use in that both are houses of worship, there are differences between them in terms of parking.”
“I am shocked that they are not using the standards set forth in the (township) ordinance,” Islamic Society of Basking Ridge attorney Vincent T. Bisogno has told NJ.com.
Bernards Township We are concerned about the impact of the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge’s (ISBR) development proposal to convert a current residential property to effectively commercial use by building a nearly 4,500 square foot Mosque complete with a 50 space parking lot on Church Street in Liberty Corner. We currently have limited information about the proposed development and our concerns may evolve as we learn more. Based on the information released to date by the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge and the news media, our concerns include the following:
public safety and traffic congestion at the accident-prone intersection of Somerville Rd/ Church Street and the surrounding busy intersections
the proximity of the development to the Liberty Corner Firehouse
the outsized scale of the proposed project
the proposed hours of use, which include activities at least 5-7 days a week
proposed lighting for the structure and parking lot
potential wetlands and environmental issues
the inevitability of future growth, given statements by ISBR representatives that the facility will be adequate for only 10 years
If you share our concerns, please act now! Your generous contributions are needed to give a clear voice to these concerns. Click here to find out how easy it is to contribute.