Carmel’s board of zoning appeals voted 3-2 late Monday night in favor of a controversial proposal to build a mosque in a residential area of the Indianapolis suburb.
The decision came after a five-hour meeting attended by hundreds of people at the Palladium concert hall, including almost 200 attendees who spoke in favor and against the project.
The Al Salam Foundation is proposing to construct Carmel's first mosque at 141st Street and Shelborne Road—a decision that has been publicly welcomed by local faith leaders and Mayor Jim Brainard.
The Islamic congregation's plan, however, has drawn opposition from residents of nearby upscale neighborhoods who raised concerns about property values being hurt by additional traffic and calls to prayer disturbing the peace.
An online petition against the zoning received more than 2,000 signatures.
Supporters of the project regard the mosque as a sign of greater diversity and a boost for attracting international businesses.
Al Salam leaders said the project would take a minimum of two years to build, if approved.
City staff recommended approval of the project.