Expanding Kitchener Islamic Centre poses conflicts in local community
Kitchener mayor Carl Zehr may be voting against the plans of expansion for the Islamic Centre in the Huron Business Park. The Islamic Centre currently resides in an industrial complex at 60 Washburn Drive in Kitchener. Imam Shafiq Hudda of the Islamic Humanitarian Service, became confused as he believed they previously had the support of the mayor from conversations they held.
The Islamic Humanitarian Service has already spent $495,000 purchasing two plots of vacant land for the expansion but the land is not zoned for religious use. Zehrs is against changing the zoning laws in Huron Business Park. Instead, they favour maintaining industrial business and jobs for the Huron Park area. The congregation at Hollinger is currently 400 members strong and is desperately in need of more space. Hudda says the congregation gets along peacefully with their current industrial neighbours and believes moving to the bigger property at Huron should pose no issues should the zoning request go through.
Kitchener council plans to debate the issue Sept. 17. If the request is approved the new Islamic Centre should be erected for 2013.