For 3rd time, Bayonne Zoning Board pushes back hearing on Muslim center

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For the third time, the Bayonne Zoning Board of Adjustment has postponed their special meeting on the Muslim Community Center after the applicant again asked for the matter to be adjourned. Protestors for and against Bayonne Community Center

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

The meeting, which was previously set for 6 p.m. tomorrow inside the Dorothy E. Harrington Municipal Council Chambers at City Hall (630 Avenue C), has again been pushed back with no new date set yet, the city announced this morning.

“I’m of the understanding that the applicant’s traffic study engineer did not complete the further assessments needed to move forward with the further consideration of the application,” Mayor Jimmy Davis’ Chief of Staff Andrew Casais said in an email.

Prior to the January 19th meeting of the zoning board, dueling protests marched in front of City Hall, pleading their cases for and against the new Muslim community center in a tense setting.

This 23,000 square foot facility would include a “prayer hall, classrooms, offices, a library and a fully equipped fitness and game room,” according the Bayonne Muslims website.

The first Muslim Center was established in 1999, and for over six years, the Muslim community has been renting a basement at St. Henry’s School on 28th and Avenue C for as a place of prayer.

After hearing over three hours of testimony and opinions from residents, which at times ended up being heated, the board decided to postpone their vote until a March 14th special meeting since a lot more testimony was still expected.

That meeting was postponed until May 25, which was then adjourned until June 28, which has now once again been delayed.