- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 28, 2014

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - The Waterloo City Council has unanimously approved a site plan for a proposed mosque, cemetery and soccer field.

The council voted Monday night to approve the plan by the Bosnian Islamic Association of Waterloo for a 15-acre site, according to the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier (https://bit.ly/1iGRDEB ).

Last October, the council opted not to act on the proposal because of concerns the city could be liable if the planned cemetery failed. Iowa law requires cities to oversee cemeteries that fail financially.

Community Planning and Development Director Noel Anderson said the association agreed to post a $25,000 irrevocable trust to pay for future cemetery operations.

“A cemetery is very important to our community and Muslim people,” said Amel Dizdarevic, speaking for the association. “Unless they can build this cemetery they will not move forward with this project.”

Association member Senad Kapic said the cemetery will be screened from neighbors by a 6- to 8-foot-high fence.

The association will later return to the zoning commission and council for approval of a more detailed site plan. It wanted council approval of a rough site plan before spending money on more expensive and detailed plans for the project.

Some neighbors earlier had raised concerns about traffic at the development, but there were no objections at a public hearing before the vote.

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Information from: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, https://www.wcfcourier.com


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