Council Votes Down Permit for Islamic Center in St. Anthony
The St. Anthony City Council has voted down a conditional use permit that would have allowed a former Medtronic building to be used for an Islamic center.
Tuesday evening's 4-1 vote against the permit came after a roughly two and a half hour hearing that drew nearly 100 people, most of them against the project.
The Abu-Huraira Islamic Center had requested a conditional use permit that would have allowed them to move into the first floor of the former Medtronic building, located off of Old Highway 8. The building is currently zoned light industrial and city code only lets places of worship exist in residential areas.
The city issued a four-month moratorium to study the zoning issue, prompting the Council on American Islamic Relations to accuse the council of intentionally slowing the process due to community opposition.
City officials say it is strictly a zoning issue because keeping the property as industrial would generate more taxes for the city.
Ahead of Tuesday's hearing, an attorney for the Islamic center said the group could file a lawsuit against the city for discrimination if the permit isn't approved.
The permit had previously been approved by the city's Planning Commission.