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Somers land-use update to include parcel eyed for mosque

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MOSQUE PROPERTY

Property in the 400 block of 100th Avenue in Somers where a group would like to build a mosque. Residents have petitioned for a referendum on the rezoning request, citing concerns over the loss of prime farmland. The site was photographed on Wednesday.

MOSQUE PROPERTY

Somers will update its land use plan for the I-94 corridor and the northwest portion of the village — including property for a proposed mosque.

The Village Board Tuesday secured the services of Foth Infrastructure and Environment to lead the village through the process of updating its land use and sewer service plans for a fee not to exceed $17,000.

The process involves evaluating the current land use, market conditions, transportation and utility infrastructure, including environmental zoning, Jeff Meunkel, project manager for Foth, wrote in a service proposal.

The final product will be a new land use map for this area for consideration by the village Plan Commission, Village Board and residents.

“There will have to be public hearings,” administrator Bill Morris said. “This is truly in its infancy.”

Trustee Gregg Sinnen said he is “adamant the public hearings be well (public) noticed” when the time comes.

Representatives from the Islamic Society of Southeastern Wisconsin were in attendance at the Village Board meeting Tuesday. They asked for an update on the status of their request.

“As of right now we have heard nothing,” one of the representatives said during the citizens’ comment portion of the meeting. “We would like to move forward.”

Village president George Stoner suggested they schedule a meeting with Morris and village staff.

Plans for the 10,000-square-foot mosque drew mixed reaction during a public hearing held last May after which the Plan Commission tabled the proposed rezoning and land use changes needed for the 21-acre parcel east of 100th Avenue at Highway A owned by the Society.

The proposal was for a three-level mosque with space for worship and prayer, classrooms, a play area and upper-unit living quarters.

The land-use work to be performed by Foth, and the corresponding cost, was scaled back from a proposal presented in late 2017. At the conclusion of this study, Meunkel said it can submit a new service proposal to cover the other goals included in the 2017 proposal.

Those goals include updating the neighborhood plans for portions of the village along 38th Street and Highway 31 (Green Bay Road) and the village’s Comprehensive Outdoor Parks Plan.

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