Another phase begins in debate over Waterloo mosque expansion
Published Thursday, August 8, 2019 2:25PM EDT
The fight for a bigger prayer centre continued Thursday in Waterloo.
Phase two of a hearing began on whether a larger mosque should be expanded in northwest Waterloo.
The debate continues on whether the property on Erbsville Road can be expanded.
The hearing was launched because the Waterloo West Community Association appealed a bylaw that allows the Muslim Association of Canada to use buildings on the property for spiritual reasons.
The bylaw would have also allowed future new development.
This debate began years ago, when city council unanimously approved rezoning the land from agricultural to institutional, paving the way for it to be used as a prayer centre.
That's when the opposition began.
"Should that ability to expand be put in place and be subject to conditions? Or should our clients have to come back for a completely new rezoning process to expand?" wonders Steve O'Melia, the lawyer representing the MAC.
"And we say, putting conditions in place is typical and it makes sense, that's the way things are normally done."
There were a number of issues also talked about during the hearing, including traffic concerns.