VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) - Some residents in Virginia Beach said they plan to ask City Council to stop a proposal for construction of the city's first mosque.
The location at Landstown and Salem roads would hold 225 people. The project was approved by the City Planning Commission last month and will be voted upon by City Council Tuesday at the Crescent Community Center.
Jamie Sanford lives next to the proposed site and said she and neighbors don't want to see more traffic in the area. She signed a paper petition circulated by a neighbor and plans to speak before the council Tuesday.
"I feel really blown away. I mean, we have a pool, we have everything here. We have our horses, we ride here every day. The last thing I want to look at is a church next door," Sanford said. "Not opposed to the fact that it's Muslim. I'm just more of the fact that I don't want a church next door."
On an online petition, some residents expressed concerns about the location. A lawyer for the Crescent Community Center, Edward Bourdon, said the traffic in the area near the proposed site is under capacity.
Resident Anne Marie Dick said she had no problem with the proposal.
"It would be different. This is kind of a rural, country setting, but at the same time, I'm a U.S. citizen, and I have to respect others' beliefs," Dick said.
Bourdon said he expected the council to approve the project Tuesday and that construction would not start until next year. The center still needs to raise $100,000 to fund the project, according to its website.
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