Islamic Center seeks variance for new parking lot


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The Monroe Woodbury Islamic Center located near the intersection of Orange Turnpike and Reynolds Road is seeking site plan approval for a proposed 20,400 square-foot building to be used for religious assembly. In addition, the site plan calls for the development of 102 parking spaces as well as an outdoor congregation space. The proposed project would total 20,000 square feet.

The Monroe Village Planning Board discussed the application during the March 26 meeting, noting that the applicant had come before the planning board last year. At the time, a local law was adopted that rendered the Islamic Center’s proposed parking lot noncompliant with the new spatial requirements, according to the planning board attorney, Elizabeth Cassidy. This then required the applicant to go before the Zoning Board of Appeals for a variance request.

Cassidy stated that the ZBA has asked to coordinate their review with the planning board. As such, the board passed a resolution confirming that they will conduct the required environmental review of the project and share those findings with the zoning board. In addition, the planning board council will provide comments at the April meeting to ensure the applicant has time to address them in time for the May meeting, during which a public hearing would be held to discuss the proposed project.

During the meeting, the planning board discussed concerns over the potential volume of people attending the public hearing for the Islamic Center, noting that a previous public hearing related to the center resulted in a standing room-only crowd and some not getting a chance to voice their views. The board concurred that Monroe Town Hall would be a more suitable venue and agreed to contact them to see if they could use their space for the public hearing.

The planning board also reviewed the special use permit and amended site plan approval for Jalisco Mexican Restaurant. The restaurant is seeking approval for the installation of a 1,162-square-foot patio with retaining walls and stone walls as well as the construction of a freestanding trellis for outdoor dining. A public hearing for the proposed plan is scheduled for April 8.

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