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Permit recommended for Edmond Islamic center over opposition

A request to investigate Islamic Society of Edmond ties to other groups was turned down by planning commissioners. The society wants to build an activity building next to the mosque that has been in the city since 1990.
by Diana Baldwin Published: May 9, 2013
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Imad Enchassi, senior imam of the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, spoke after the meeting and called Blair a friend with different theological beliefs.

“God bless him,” Enchassi said.

Property owners in the 300 block of Thatcher Street sent a three-page letter to the planning commission opposing the activity center. They claim the building would be too large for a single-family residential neighborhood.

The proposed building is one foot shorter than what city code allows for a single family structure. The new building would cover 8,307 square feet. The existing mosque is 680 square feet in size.

“The proposed structure is a very modern style that will be haughty and dominate the skyline and not fit into the style of the existing neighborhood,” the letter stated. It was signed by Marsha and Jim Honomichl, 311 E Thatcher, and listed the addresses of two other homes whose owners are opposed.

Neighbors also are concerned about parking and traffic flow because University of Central Oklahoma students park on the street.

The site will have 22 parking spaces. The Islamic Society also has written permission to use 14 parking spaces owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a half-block to the south.

Moyer said he was concerned because someone else owns the off-site parking.

“This is the first case where the parking is under a different ownership,” City Planner Bob Schiermeyer said. “We would have to revisit this if they would lose those 14 spaces.”

by Diana Baldwin
Sr. Reporter
Diana Baldwin has been an Oklahoma journalist since 1976 and came to The Oklahoman in 1991. She covered the Oklahoma City bombing and covered the downfall of Oklahoma City police forensic chemist Joyce Gilchrist misidentifying evidence. She wrote...
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