TO SETTLE LAWSUIT NORWALK FORCED TO APPROVE NEW MOSQUE IN RESIDENTIAL AREA
NEW HAVEN -- When Norwalk received a proposal to build the city's first mosque, it was rejected by officials who said the structure was too big for the largely residential area and would create too much traffic.
The applicants filed a federal lawsuit alleging religious discrimination and the U.S. Justice Department, which has intervened in mosque projects around the country, launched an inquiry into the handling of the proposal.
Now, the city is moving to settle the lawsuit and support a version of the closely watched project. Norwalk officials say religion was never part of their considerations.
"It was not based on any religious bias," Mayor Richard Moccia said. "I can't recall any zoning officer or any city official ever commenting that it happened to be a mosque and that's the reason they were opposing it."
Moccia said the Justice Department wrote about two months ago, seeking information such as minutes of a zoning hearing on the project. He said the city responded and has not heard back from federal officials.
The Justice Department declined to comment.
LAWSUITS CAN BANKRUPT A CITY BUT SOMETHING TELLS ME OBAMA'S JUSTICE DEPARTMENT IS BEHIND THIS SO CALLED "SETTLEMENT".