Action Alert: Stop DuPage County from Banning Religious Institutions

August 25, 2010

DuPage County zoning officials are proposing amendments to the Zoning Ordinance which would ban any new religious institutions in residential areas.

This proposal follows CAIR-Chicago’s lawsuit on behalf of Irshad Learning Center (ILC), which was denied a special use permit to conduct religious educational classes and worship services at a property previously owned by a private day care center.

The amendments would essentially bar ILC and other Muslim organizations from establishing mosques in areas already occupied by non-Muslim religious institutions.

See http://www.dupageco.org/emplibrary/8-26-10%20ZBA%20AGENDA%5B1%5D.pdf for the proposal.

What: Attend Zoning Board of Appeals and express opposition to proposed amendment to Zoning Ordinance Relative to Places of Assembly

When: Thursday, August 26, 2010, at 7:00 p.m.

Where: Cafeteria of Jack T. Knuepfer Administration Building

421 North County Farm Road

Wheaton, IL 60187

Points to raise at hearing:

-       The amendments appear targeted at Islamic religious organizations, as Muslims are the predominant individuals currently seeking to establish assemblies in the County.  In essence, the County is banning Islamic practices in residential areas already occupied by Christian churches.

-       Secular schools are allowed to build and develop in residential areas, and thus the proposal discriminates against religious institutions.

-       By excluding new religious institutions from residential areas, the County will force them to locate in high traffic and commercial areas, which contradicts the need for more intimate settings for religious practices.

-       The cost of land will be higher in commercial areas, which will also likely require more construction than using residential buildings.  The amendments impose a financial burden on religious institutions that is not necessary.

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