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St. Cloud Islamic Center proposal off the table, for now

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After facing resistance from some residents and city council leaders, the Islamic Center of St. Cloud withdrew its application to build a 34,000-square-foot complex on the city’s south side.

The St. Cloud Times reports 500 people, both for and against the proposal, attended a heated public hearing Monday night. Opponents again raised traffic and parking concerns in the residential area and said the development was too large for the space.

Supporters of the project held small green signs urging the council to approve the project, according to WJON.

The Islamic Center had requested a zoning change to build a mosque, religious school, townhomes, gymnasium and community room on a nearly 10-acre site zoned for duplexes and single-family homes. The development would serve about 600 people, Minnesota Public Radio said.

Tensions over race and religion were also brought up by attendees, but were quickly cut off by City Council President Jeff Goerger who said such comments would not be tolerated, MPR reported.

After it became clear that city council members would not support the project as is, the center decided to go back to the drawing board.

Abdulrashid Salad, president of the Islamic Center, said he will reconsider and revise some aspects of the design before resubmitting plans to the city, according to the St. Cloud Times.

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