Public hearing to be held regarding proposed Brookfield mosque

BROOKFIELD -- The Muslim community in Brookfield is growing, and looking for a permanent home. The Islamic Society of Milwaukee plans to build a mosque off Calhoun Road, but the plan has not been without some controversy. Tuesday night, the Brookfield Common Council voted unanimously to hold a public hearing on the mosque, likely in May during the Planning Commission meeting.

The Common Council was expected to approve the plan for the mosque Tuesday night.

Brookfield Mayor Steven Ponto says the biggest concern has not been because of religion, but because of congestion, "Our principal concern is just that that portion of Calhoun road is between two railroad tracks and it’s only two lanes right now."

Dr. Mushir Hassan is the project leader for the effort to build the mosque in Brookfield. For the last several years, he says a group of about 80 members have met at different facilities for worship, but they'd like a place to call home. They bought land on Pheasant Drive, just off of Calhoun Road in Brookfield.

The land is currently an industrial area. The city says its primary issue initially was the size of the mosque. That led to traffic concerns along Calhoun Road.

The group agreed to downsize the mosque to try to alleviate any of those worries. "I think we've been very careful and diligent with the city, to make sure traffic is under control and thoroughly addressed," Dr. Hassan said.

Mayor Ponto agrees, though he says he has heard from a handful of people who say the city is being either too agreeable about the mosque, or too tough. Ponto thinks in the end, the mosque will fit in just fine. "Brookfield has a very well-educated, sophisticated population, and I think they understand that we have a diverse society," Ponto said.

The plan passed through the Planning Committee unanimously.

CLICK HERE for more from FOX6's media partners at the Brookfield Patch.