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Commissioners reject mosque proposal in west Orange County

Updated:

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Orange County commissioners have voted against a proposed mosque in west Orange County.

Several homeowners spoke out against the moqsue plan during Tuesday's commission meeting.

Some of those residents said it wasn't a religious issue, they just didn't want any development in the area of Palm Lake Drive and Apopka Vineland Road.

"We continue to oppose for the same reason," one homeowner said.

The residents were concerned that a mosque would bring a heavy increase in traffic to the area. However, some of them don't mind the mosque and believe traffic shouldn't be an issue.

"We make exceptions because we know as a community we have an obligation to respect people's faith," one resident said.

A researcher working with the homeowners who are against the mosque called the plans a "detrimental intrusion."

"It obtains access to a resident road and would route non-residenttial traffic through a residential area and promote cut through traffic," said researcher Laura Dedenbach.

The people behind the mosque plans want the building to be built in an area zoned for single-family homes. Some of them feel the pushback is motivated by religion.

"All these things traffic, blah, blah, blah. I do not think this has anything to do with anything but the right to worship," said Moazzam Raja.

"We encourage your community and your worship. We just don't want you to worship on Palm Drive," said resident Kietta Mayweather-Gamble.

The property owner changed some parts of the plans with Tuesday's presentation, including reducing the building size from 13,000 to 9,000 square feet and limiting the numbers of cars by posting signs.

Shortly before 6 p.m., commissioners rejected the mosque proposal. There's no word if the property owner will re-submit the plans at a later date.