BROWNSBURG — A proposal to turn an area of land near Brownsburg into an Islamic Seminary Development with residential buildings, religious facilities, a community center, education facilities, and more is moving to the Hendricks County Board of Commissioners.
The proposed Clermont Village development would be built near North County Road 1000 East and Interstate-74 in Brownsburg.
The Hendricks County Area Plan Commission voted to recommend the rezoning application be approved with a 4-3 vote during a Tuesday evening meeting, sending the proposal to the county commissioners.
The next commissioner meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Jan. 26, but it's not yet clear when the proposal will be discussed.
In an email, Tim Dombrosky, director of planning and building for the county, said if the commissioners approve the application, the developers will need to:
- Make a development plan application to be reviewed for compliance with the zoning ordinance. This will be heard in a public hearing by the plan commission and they will make a final decision.
- The petitioner will have to make an application to be reviewed for compliance with the drainage ordinance. This will be heard by the drainage board and they will make a final decision.
The Indiana Muslim Advocacy Network is supporting the developers with the project and organizing supporters, especially within the faith and Brownsburg communities.
As of Wednesday afternoon, more than 770 people have signed a petition to stop the project, citing concerns about the land, traffic, and more.
"This property is an agricultural land, and the people that live adjacent to it live there for that reason," the petition read. "It shouldn't and can't be rezoned for residential because of flood, sewer, and water concerns. Also the environment impact as well as traffic impact it would have on the local community. Brownsburg has many sufficient schools and there is no reason for a private community to build their own school. This land should not be developed."
"We wanted to make sure while the opposition has started a petition against the project, we wanted to make sure other voices are heard in the community, and there is as well some support for the project," Hiba Alami, executive director of the Indiana Muslim Advocacy Network, said.
But some, including some who have signed the petition, have left anti-Muslim comments and feedback about the project, Alami said.
"These comments actually hurt," Alami said. "The Muslim Hoosier community has always been a good neighbor. We have been part of the social fabric in Indiana. We come from all walks of life, we contribute to the community and we would like to believe Indiana is a welcoming and all-inclusive state. On the other side, I am very grateful for the outpouring of support and love that we have received from faith organizations, the Brownsburg community. They have been amazing with their support."
If approved, Alami said the community would be welcoming to everyone.
"It's going to mean a lot to have such an inclusive community where everyone can live, play, study, and worship, freely," Alami said.
It will be a place where people can come and meet others, grow, and meet their Muslim neighbors, Alami said.
Click here to see the traffic study done on the proposal.
Islamic Society of North America is headquartered in Plainfield.