Here is something that is happening with surprisingly little publicity. At its June 27th meeting (at 7:30 PM), the Prince William Board of County Supervisors (BOCS) will most likely approve the construction of a big, huge mosque. Here is the agenda.
Where is the site for this big, huge mosque? The 14.89 acre site is located at 12655 Vint Hill Rd., approx. 550 ft. east of the intersection of Vint Hill Rd. & Kettle Run Rd. and west of Schaeffer Ln.
Where does the BOCS meet? The BOCS meets at the Prince William County McCoart Administration Building, Board Chambers, 1 County Complex Court, Woodbridge.
A local organization, FORCE – Friends of Rural Crescent Energized, is opposing the construction of a mosque in our area. Why? Well, the mosque is big, and it is being built in an area that is supposed to be zoned off from development.
Here is how a newspaper described the proposed mosque.
The All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS), which has 11 chapters around Northern Virginia and the District of Columbia, wants to build a 22,400-square-foot mosque on the site in Nokesville, in Prince William County. About 150 to 200 Muslims from the area who conduct Friday prayers in a rented hotel space in Manassas say they want their own place for services, Sunday school, interfaith gatherings and other events.
Opponents say the proposed 500-person facility is not appropriate in the neighborhood of single-family homes, which lies within an 80,000-acre swath created in 1998 to preserve Prince William’s remaining rural areas from suburbanization.
Known as the Rural Crescent, it serves as a buffer between the county’s more developed eastern side and rural Fauquier County to the west. Most residents are required to use septic tanks, lots for new single-family homes must be on tracts of at least 10 acres, and the construction of larger facilities, such as religious institutions, requires a special-use permit from the county. (from here)
Of course, there is the usual charge of Islamophobia from the usual suspect, New PW County Mosque Opponents’ “fears and concerns are not rooted in reality or facts” but in Islamophobia. However, I suspect that if someone built a Walmart at that location there would be a much, much bigger fuss. When someone builds a facility in a residential area with 300 parking spots, the neighbors generally take notice. Oddly, however, here were the only news articles/posts I could find using Google that have been published in the last month.
- New PW County Mosque Opponents’ “fears and concerns are not rooted in reality or facts” but in Islamophobia
- FORCE – Friends of Rural Crescent Energized (FORCE also has other articles on its Facebook page.)
- VOTE on mega-mosque project in Prince William County, Virginia
Kind of odd, to say the least. Why the silence? Anyway, here are some other, old articles, on the subject.
- Planning commission postpones vote on proposed mosque in Nokesville
- Public invited to workshop on comprehensive plan
Should the facility be built? I don’t know. I suppose Muslims have the right to build worship facilities just like anyone else. Nevertheless, back in November, Supervisor Jeanine Lawson expressed her disappointment.
I have concerns about the ADAMS proposal as did my predecessor, Supervisor Covington. The Vint Hill Road site is particularly challenging for a religious institution of this size. The transportation impacts to the local community, and the request for public sewer in the Rural Crescent makes support of the application even more challenging. In my initial meeting with the ADAMS representatives last year, I encouraged them to look for land in the development area where they would not face as many obstacles. As a strong defender of the rural area, the fact that they have chosen to proceed to pursue the Schaeffer location is disappointing. (from here)
I don’t consider myself a defender of Islam. I do, however, adamantly support religious freedom, but one doesn’t have to dislike Islam to wonder what that mosque would be doing in the rural crescent. Am I a huge supporter of the rural crescent? Not really, but I do get a bit disgusted when politicians create policies and then immediately proceed to violate them. Because politicians have had so much trouble following any plan, development around this area has been a messy process, to say the least.