Brooklyn, NY – Last week on Friday City officials quietly scrubbed a controversial Sheepshead Bay mosque, which had already been the subject of months of review and protests, and ordered another probe of the project.
The Department of Buildings had actually approved the design of the Islamic community center on Voorhies Road on Wednesday, allowing property owner Allowey Ahmed to begin construction, but two days later, the same agency pulled support for the as-of-right project and will now subject it to another exhaustive review.
Ahmed believes the city simpy caved in to pressure from a handful of mosque opponents on the block between East 28th and East 29th streets.
“It’s only common sense to assume that,” he explained. “We lowered our plan from four floors to three out of deference to our neighbors. And now everything is on hold again.”
The city didn’t give Ahmed any reason for the delay, except to say that the entire plan has to be reviewed again for “anywhere from one to five months,” Ahmed was told.
Calls to the Department of Buildings for answers weren’t returned.
The delay smacks of a back-room deal, especially since neighborhood political leaders are supporting the city’s stunning turnaround.
State Sen. Carl Kruger (D–Mill Basin) said the second review is necessary because of the divisive feelings surrounding the mosque project.
“Whenever the [Department of Buildings] knows that something is controversial, they don’t leave it up to one plan examiner,” said Kruger. “They want a fresh set of eyes to look at it, like an integrity check.
(Read More: The Brooklyn Paper)