Islamic Society of Edmond members received unanimous approval from the city council Monday night to move forward with the construction of a fellowship hall next to their mosque that was built in 1990.
They have been trying since November 2013 to add to their property west of University Drive between Wayne Avenue and Thatcher Street.
The new proposal was reduced in size from 8,307 square feet to 1,100 square feet and the dome was removed.
Edmond City Council members approved the specific use permit with the additional restrictions, and the large crowd from the Islamic community agreed to the restrictions.
“This is a big milestone,” said Bilal Piracha, a member of the Islamic Society’s committee. “We are happy. This is a big achievement.”
“I am real excited,” said Nabiha Ahmad, an Edmond high school student.
Piracha said the new fellowship hall will be an Islamic center to serve the entire community, and will include free clinics.
“It is going to be a place for all the community,” Piracha said.
There were longtime neighbors of the mosque who encouraged council members to approve the permit.
Richard Powers, who has lived next to the mosque for 30 years, called them good neighbors.
Opponent Misty Buchanan, another neighbor, has appeared before the planning commission and city council since 2013 speaking against the fellowship hall. She said the latest plans violated city codes.
Parking and the size of a fellowship activity hall were reasons city council members gave when they turned down the request for a specific use permit in December 2013.
The 8,307-square-foot addition would have been built to the west of the 680-square-foot prayer hall at 525 N University Drive.