WASHINGTON — A legal battle over permitting for a proposed Culpeper County mosque will be ending soon, with a settlement expected to resolve the matter.
Lawyers for the county and the Justice Department were in a federal courtroom in Charlottesville Wednesday morning for the first hearing in the case.
The county tried to make an argument to get the case dismissed.
The Justice Department alleges that Culpeper County went out of its way to deny a sewer permit for a proposed Islamic center, bowing to public pressure pushing against having a Muslim prayer center in their community.
Culpeper County’s attorney in the case argued that denying the permit did not stop the organization from building a mosque in the county.
The Culpeper Star Exponent reports the federal judge hearing the case said in court he found it odd that the county would routinely approve pump-and-haul sewage permits to other applicants but would deny the permit for a Muslim applicant.
After that hourlong hearing, both sides requested to work out a settlement.
Both sides are expected to appear in a Harrisonburg federal courtroom on April 6 for a settlement conference.