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Supervisors seek review of Prince William Co. mosque vote

A group in rural Prince William County have filed suit against the Board of Supervisors for granting a special use permit to the ADAMS Center, to build a new mosque in Nokesville. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)

WASHINGTON — The controversy over whether to approve the request to build a new mosque in the protected “rural crescent” of Prince William County apparently isn’t over.

Two supervisors on the losing side of the decision have asked the county attorney to weigh in on whether procedural rules were followed, according to fauquier.com.

Last week, in a marathon session that ended after 3 a.m., the county’s Board of Supervisors voted to approve a zoning permit to allow the All Dulles Area Muslim Society, also known as the ADAMS Center, to build the mosque on land zoned for agriculture in Nokesville.

The permit allows the group to build a 22,400-square-foot mosque that can hold up to 500 people near the intersection of Vint Hill Road and Schaeffer Lane.

Some who spoke out against the mosque said they had concerns about the building’s impact on the neighborhood, particularly the added traffic it would bring. Others said the mosque would violate county policy by accessing a county sewer line.

During the Wednesday session, the board voted unanimously to approve a special-use permit for a new mosque. However, on a related request, the supervisors split 5-3 on whether to connect the mosque to the public sewer line.

In the “rural crescent” of Prince William County, septic tanks are the norm. The ADAMS Center had argued the public sewer would be less disruptive to the nearby environment.

Supervisor Pete Candland, R-Gainesville, questioned whether Chairman Corey Stewart, R-at large, coached supervisors on the sewer vote, accusing Stewart of “ramming through the votes,” and saying his constituents felt “cheated” and “swindled,” reports fauquier.com.

In addition, Supervisor Jeanine Lawson, R-Brentsville, who represents much of the rural crescent, called the vote “a clown show” and said she “owed it to the community” to seek the county attorney’s opinion.

In an interview with fauquier.com, Lawson acknowledged she is trying to manage her own expectations and those of her constituents.

“I certainly don’t think it’s likely we’ll see a reversal of the decision,” she said.


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