Maine Township Islamic center applicants not informed of hearing
The Park Ridge-based Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America is looking to open the Sabeel Center at 8800 W. Ballard Rd. in unincorporated Maine Township. | Jennifer Johnson~Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 26, 2012 10:50AM
The Maine Township Plan Commission this week postponed a meeting to consider an Islamic food council’s request to open a community center after members learned that township officials had not notified project representatives of the meeting.
Commissioners on June 19 said that without input from representatives of the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America they could not proceed with the public hearing to consider whether to recommend township support to the Sabeel Center, proposed for 8800 W. Ballard Road in unincorporated Maine Township.
The meeting has been rescheduled for 6 p.m. June 25 at Maine Township Town Hall, 1700 Ballard Road. Township Supervisor Carol Teschky said a legal notice announcing the June 19 meeting was published in a newspaper, but no notification was sent to IFANCA officials.
“The people that are petitioning need to know we’re going to be talking about them,” responded Commissioner Mary Childers.
The township was not legally required to post a sign on the property announcing that a public hearing was scheduled, Teschky added. Meetings of the Plan Commission are not posted on the township’s website.
Park Ridge resident Mevlo Hoxha, one of 17 citizens in attendance at the Plan Commission meeting, said she wanted Sabeel Center representatives present in order to answer questions she felt had not been adequately addressed during a June 4 meeting before the Cook County Zoning Board of Appeals. Some of her questions and concerns involved hours of operation, whether events will be held outside and how the building will specifically be used.
“We don’t care what they do, as long as it stays contained within their building,” Hoxha said.
The Cook County Zoning Board of Appeals is considering IFANCA’s request for a special-use permit to operate the community center in the former Maine Township Jewish Congregation Shaare Emet. Exterior renovations are also planned. The ZBA then will make a recommendation to the Cook County Board, which will take final action concerning the special-use.
In unincorporated Maine Township zoning matters decided by the Cook County Board, the Maine Township Town Board has the authority to formally oppose a project. If such opposition occurs at the recommendation of the Maine Township Plan Commission, a super-majority vote of the Cook County Board will be required to approve the project.
A public hearing to consider a special-use permit allowing a horoscope and astrology-reading business inside a home at 2834 W. Golf Road, in unincorporated Glenview, was also rescheduled to June 25 because the applicant had not been notified of the plan commission meeting either.