The West Bloomfield Township Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) at its Thursday, Oct. 4 meeting tabled zoning ordinance variance requests regarding a proposed Islamic cultural center until a site visit is concluded.
Members from the ZBA at 5:15 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 16 will visit the former Eagle Elementary School building site — part of the Farmington School District — on the northwest corner of Middlebelt and 14 Mile roads, where the center is proposed to be built.
The site visit will also serve a continuation of the Oct. 4 ZBA meeting.
The Islamic Cultural Association (ICA) petitioned the zoning board to specify height limitations for structures because according to plans, the overall height of a proposed minaret is 44.83 feet and the proposed spire located on the dome of the mosque measures 48 feet.
The ICA also requested a variance for a parking area with a continuous and obscuring 5-foot masonry wall, but it was pointed out that there is a 6-foot-high solid wood fence already along the property line.
Those requests were tabled.
The ZBA did approve the largest of two domes proposed for the center to be built at a height exceeding the maximum height allowed in the township, with the dome’s midway point at 35 feet.
The proposed site encompasses 9.55 acres and would include a 13,102-square-foot addition consisting of a mosque, lobby, and multi-purpose room on the existing 38,860-square-foot building, creating a 51,962-square-foot place of worship.
Township Board Liaison to the Planning Commission Steve Kaplan said that the commission would revisit the matter of the proposed Islamic center at its Tuesday, Oct. 23 meeting.
The Planning Commission tabled actions regarding a site plan and special land use approval for the cultural center at its Aug. 14 meeting and held its own site visit on Sept. 9.
If the Planning Commission approves, its recommendation for the cultural center will then be sent before the township Board of Trustees for final approval.