Charles WatsonAug 9, 2017, 10:52 pmAug 11, 2017, 8:19 am

Bernards Township agrees to allow mosque to be built following lawsuit settlement

The Islamic Society of Basking Ridge will build the 4,250-square-foot facility

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The Bernards Township Committee made the motion to approve the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge's plan to construct a 4250-square-foot mosque in a residential community on Church Street.

The committee approved the plan Tuesday evening following a settlement of more than $3 million dollars the ISBR and the justice department filed suit, claiming the town changed its zoning ordinances in order to reject the group's plan.

Neighbors in town have been hesitant to talk about the situation on camera. In private, they say the mosque, which will accommodate up to 124 people, will make traffic a nightmare on the quiet street.

In the spring, a local Muslim who is part of the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge's living told FiSO1 News that he was happy with the resolution.

"We never sought special treatment, we just wanted the same treatment of everybody else," said Nadim Ahmed.

Resident Tom Schmidt says everyone deserves religious freedom, no matter what religion they practice.

“I think it's alright. They're people, they have freedom of religion. It's okay,” Schmidt said.

Under that settlement, the town will not only have to pay out millions of dollars, but it will also ease zoning restrictions on places of worship.

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