Leesburg mosque preps for new home

Leesburg mosque preps for new home
(Sunday, April 19, 2015) 09:42

An Islamic mosque in Leesburg hopes to have its own building soon after putting in a site plan request with the Loudoun Board of Supervisors.

The Muslim Community Center of Leesburg requested a special exception for property purchased for the mosque with a 300-seat capacity on roughly five acres on Sycolin Road in Leesburg. 

Since it was created in 2006, the church has been renting out a space for its Friday religious gathering in the Holiday Inn on East Market Street in Leesburg. 

In 2009, the congregation found the property on Sycolin Road, and it wasn't long before they'd purchased the land.

The congregation has been raising funds for its new home on their website's Paypal account and so far have raised $116,000 of its $170,000 goal. 

The planned 30,000-square-foot structure will have space for a social hall, meeting rooms and administrative offices as well as rooms for religious education and an inside play area for children. 

The mosque's process through the county is an ongoing endeavor started in 2011 that involved first the approval of a clearance of a permanent pump and haul sewage disposal system and a by-right special exception for religious assembly for the actual building of the structure, along with minor layout modifications that needed further approval.

Currently, the site is zoned for single family residential units. 

Public hearings in January 2014 revealed concerns from eight members of the nearby community about the mosque's build, including traffic impacts on Sycolin Road, effects of the mosque's underground storm water management system and the perceived poor fit of the mosque with the neighboring properties.

According to a traffic study found in county documents, the mosque's build will not change current traffic patterns in the neighborhood.

The property itself sits near Leesburg Airport, Philip Bolen Park, Loudoun Youth Soccer Fields and First Baptist Church of Sycolin.

There were also concerns by the Board of Supervisors that the mosque's build would interfere with changes to Sycolin Road, namely its increase from two to four lanes.

The center reserved 120 feet for the roadway changes.

According to the mosque's president, Abdul Basir Ghanizade, the mosque doesn't have a projected opening date, and the build won't begin until their site plan request receives approval.

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