MURFREESBORO — The Islamic Center of Murfreesboro wants permission to expand a cemetery on its 15-acre property.
Mosque representatives are scheduled to attend the Rutherford County Board of Zoning Appeals meeting Dec. 11. The 4:30 p.m. meeting will take place in the second-floor courtroom of the Rutherford County Courthouse on the public square in Murfreesboro.
The Islamic Center of Murfreesboro secured permission to build its mosque on Veals Road off Bradyville Pike from the county's Regional Planning Commission in May 2010. Before the meeting, County Planning Director Doug Demosi approved the congregation's request to bury one member on the property but informed the mosque it would have to seek board of zoning appeals approval to expand the cemetery.
After hearing about the government approvals, many people complained and filed a lawsuit about the county approving a larger mosque that included long-term plans for the cemetery without giving enough public notice about it.
A Tennessee Court of Appeals this year decided the county handled the issue appropriately, and the Tennessee Supreme Court declined to hear the case.
The congregation opened the first 12,000 square feet in August 2012.
The Islamic Center of Murfreesboro has long-term plans to build a formal mosque for worship, a gym, an indoor pool andclassrooms for a weekend religious school. The center also built a playground and sports fields.