DuPage board approves Muslim project, sans dome

September 13, 2011

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DuPage County's board has given the go-ahead for a new Muslim community center to be built, but without a dome to cover its religious worship space.  The Pin Oak Community Center is slated for construction on an unincorporated residential plot near west suburban Lombard. The plans include a mosque, gymnasium, and office space.

Attorney Mark Daniel, who represents Pin Oak, says Pin Oak's founders may try to apply once more for permission to build the 50-foot high dome. "It's an important part of any mosque," said Daniel. "They've got centuries of history." This is the second Muslim development in unincorporated DuPage County that has recently modified construction plans because the board denied approval for a dome.

The county sets a height limit of 36 feet in residential areas, and only grants variances to exceed that limit on a case-by-case basis. The Muslim Educational and Cultural Center of America, or MECCA, was the last Muslim project to find its application for height variances denied. MECCA, to be constructed near the Village of Willowbrook, has appealed that decision.