A federal judge says an Islamic worship center can locate just outside of Naperville:
The Irshad Learning Center had sought to open a worship center for up to 100 people inside a single-family home at 25W030 75th St. that had been previously used as a private school.
In 2010, the county board voted 10-7 to deny its application for a conditional use permit after some neighbors complained their property values would go down.
Irshad, which has about 75 members, filed a lawsuit challenging the decision on grounds ranging from religious discrimination to the county’s alleged violations of its own zoning laws.
Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer found in a 70-page ruling there was no “direct evidence of deliberate discrimination” by the county or its workers, though she noted that a zoning board of appeals member had asked the group’s attorney if animal sacrifices would be held.
But she did find that DuPage County’s “repeated errors, speculation and refusal to impose conditions” under which the project could be approved led her to conclude that the county had wrongly imposed a “substantial burden” on the group’s application and that its denial was “arbitrary and capricious.”
A few cases like this in the Chicago area in recent years have generated controversy (see here, here, and here). Now it remains to be seen how neighbors respond once the Islamic Center is open.
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