23 Aug 2014
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Hearing on Proposed Mosque in Liberty Corner Set For Aug. 7

Plans call for new building at 124 Church Street.

Hearing on Proposed Mosque in Liberty Corner Set For Aug. 7

Ali Chaudry, president of the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge, said the is due to be held at the Planning Board meeting scheduled for 7:30 p.m. next Tuesday.

On Tuesday evening, Chaudry said he would wait until the Aug. 7 meeting to discuss the details, and any changes or updates, made for plans for a newly constructed mosque to be located not far from the intersection with Somerville Road.

Chaudry, also a former township mayor, in January appeared in before neighbors and the to informally present plans to convert a four-bedroom home at 124 Church St. in Liberty Corner into an Islamic center to serve the nearby Muslim community.

Since then, representatives for the Islamic Society returned before the Planning Board in May calling for a new mosque building at the location along the main street in the Liberty Corner section of the township. The society already owns the property.

The board agreed that the application as filed was complete, and set a first hearing date of Aug. 7 for the proposal.

Chaudry said in May the revised plan for the proposed would meet zoning requirements and also would be designed in a style to fit in with the street of historic homes.

In May, Chaudry said the proposed 4,250-square-foot building proposed the location, across the street from the Liberty Corner firehouse would be "very much" a Colonial style. He declined to say on Tuesday whether a change in the size is being proposed.

"It's still trying to be very sensitive to the style of the neighborhood," Chaudry said in May. "Our project is very modest," he added at that time.

Chaudry has said in the past that between 60 to 70 people now attend Friday prayers at the Islamic Society's current meeting place at the at 289 S. Maple Ave.

Chaudry said the Islamic Society already owns the house, approximately across the street from the Liberty Corner firehouse. He and other professionals who presented the plan said the society had previously reached out to neighbors, the Liberty Corner Fire Co. and First Aid Squad and others in seeking input before establishing a mosque to serve families from nearby in The Hills in other sections of Bernards Township and other sections fo the Somerset Hills.

Local architect Dan Lincoln had worked on plans for the project.

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