Brookfield mosque one step closer to being built
BROOKFIELD- The Brookfield Plan Commission voted unanimously to move the mosque project ahead Monday evening. The public hearing lasted more than two hours and there were so many people at the meeting -- the city set up overflow areas where people could watch and listen on TV monitors.
It's a project that's divided the Brookfield community. The Islamic Foundation of Greater Milwaukee wants to build the 13,000-square-foot mosque on Pheasant Drive -- just east of Calhoun Road.
Calhoun Road is the only major road that connects to Pheasant Drive and that worries some people. "I want to say on the outset, I'm a big fan of the Bill of Rights and freedom of religion. I've lived in numerous communities where we have tremendous religious diversity," said a woman against the mosque. "What I'm not a fan of is any increase of traffic at this particular location."
But of the hundreds of people who packed the normally quiet city plan commission meeting, most spoke in favor of the mosque. Heather Nelson is among them. She's Muslim and says the mosque is needed. "I really believe in religious freedom and I think everyone has a right to have access to the religion they practice and a place of worship that's close to their home."
Many shared the same message. Others touted diversity and economic benefits of the prayer center.
Rev. Kathleen Rinear expected more pushback during the discussion, but is pleased by the support and what the message it says about Brookfield. "This is a very welcoming and open and a wonderful community and I was glad to see that affirmed tonight," said Rev. Rinear.
The project will now go before the full council for consideration next week. What they are reviewing is a construction permit for the facility.