Opponents of proposed Carmel mosque appeal city’s approval

Opponents of an Islamic congregation's plan to build a mosque in Carmel are appealing a decision to allow the project to move forward.

Hamilton County Superior Court Judge Steve Nation scheduled a hearing on the case for May 25, but the case could last months.

Carmel's Board of Zoning Appeals voted 3-2 in February to approve the Al Salam Foundation's proposal to construct the city's first mosque, which has been welcomed by local faith leaders and the city's mayor. The plaintiffs in the case are appealing the board's decision, according to The Indianapolis Star.

Hundreds of people attended the meeting where the vote took place and dozens spoke in favor or against the plans for the mosque, which would be located at 141st Street and Shelborne Road. Supporters of the project said they regarded the mosque as a sign of greater diversity and a boost for attracting international businesses.

Al Salam leaders said at the time that the project would take a minimum of two years to build, if approved.

Opponents have raised concerns about property values being hurt in nearby upscale neighborhoods by additional traffic and calls to prayer disturbing the peace. An online petition against the zoning received more than 2,000 signatures.

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