Opponents of proposed Carmel mosque lose zoning appeal

The Carmel zoning board’s approval of the construction of an Islamic community center was affirmed Tuesday as an appeals court determined opponents of the planned mosque failed to timely file the necessary paperwork to make their case.

On Feb. 27, 2018, the Carmel Board of Zoning Appeals voted 3-2 to issue a special-use zoning permit to the Al-Salam Foundation Inc. to build an Islamic community and worship center at 141st Street and Shelborne Road. 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.

Remonstrators David Bidgood, Sheila M. Graves, Salvatore Papalardo, David J. Reeves and Angelo R. Stanco sought court review of the board’s decision permitting the special use. The board filed a motion to dismiss their request after the remonstrators failed to provide required records within 30 days as required by Indiana law.

Subsequently, the remonstrators twice filed for an extension of time in order to file the records. Those extensions were granted by the trial court.

Now-retired Hamilton Superior Judge Steve Nation later denied the board’s motion to dismiss the remonstrators’ petition despite the board’s argument that records were untimely filed and that no extensions of time to file were requested by the remonstrators pursuant to the statutory timeframe.

On appeal, the board argued the records needed to be filed or an extension sought by April 27, and that the remonstrators did not file their motion for extension of time until May 25. On the other hand, the remonstrators contended the trial court’s order set the date as May 25, and because they were granted their motion to extend the time, they had not missed the deadline.

The Indiana Court of Appeals ultimately found that under the exclusive means for seeking judicial review, the remonstrators failed to file the board record within by April 27 and thus precluded itself from judicial review.

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