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Another mosque gets OK to build

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Commissioners approved the construction of a mosque in a residential community.

While Lilburn's City Council rejected a controversial mosque along U.S. Highway 29 last month, commissioners approved a separate proposal on Cruse Road on Tuesday.

Like the Lilburn proposal, the Darus Salam Masjid was proposed in a residential area. A Sunni Muslim congregation had been meeting in a 50-year-old home at the location for years but requested to build a larger worship facility.

Commissioner Kevin Kenerly, who said he visited the location to investigate neighbors complaints about traffic and parking issues, said he thought the construction would improve the look of the area.

"I'd rather them go to a church building," he said. "It would dress up the neighborhood."

Kenerly denied the group's request to build a small commercial building on the property.

But people who live nearby were upset about the decision.

"It's going to be an eyesore," neighbor David Lynn said. "It's not going to blend in with the neighborhood. ... (Kenerly) doesn't listen to people in the area."

Commissioners heard public comments on the mosque in October, around the time of the Lilburn controversy. But the decision was delayed until this week.

During the hearing, members of the mosque filled the courthouse.

"We are very peaceful there," Alam Chowdhury said at that time. "We are very excited. This is our dream."