Bayonne Muslims Secretary Waheed Akbar says despite the local zoning board of adjustment voting down a proposed mosque at 109 East 24th Street, he remains confident a Muslim house of worship will come eventually come to the Peninsula City.
“That it, exactly, disappointed. Obviously, I was definitely hoping for a different result. I think the zoning board addressed concerns with parking and I understand where they’re coming from. We need to go back to the drawing board,” Akbar told Hudson County View after the project failed to gain approval last night.
Akbar added that he’s unsure what the next move is for the non-profit group, other than sitting down with their attorneys and community members and have a frank discussion.
Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis and Assemblyman Nick Chiaravalloti (D-31) both said in statements earlier today that they expected the decision to head to court on appeal, but Akbar made no mention of such a maneuver minutes after the zoning board’s decision.
The three meetings on the subject, with the first one dating back to January 2016, resulted in a whopping 14 hours of testimony, with the board commissioners ultimately deciding the project was a poor fit for a small residential neighborhood.
All three meetings had their aggressive moments, such as some residents in attendance heckling Muslims as they participated in prayer prior to the start of last evening’s length ordeal.
Despite instances like this one, Akbar said he has no desire to bring a mosque to any area besides Bayonne, it’s just a question of the exact location.
“No, not at all. I have four kids that all go to public schools here. I live here, I have a house here, we’re not going anywhere else: we’ll be in Bayonne, it’s just a matter of fact if we get this place or another place.”