By Associated Press - Friday, June 20, 2014

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) - A judge has dismissed a lawsuit over a permit that was issued allowing a Middle Tennessee mosque to build a cemetery on its property.

A group of residents filed the suit after Rutherford County officials approved the request from the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro.

The Daily News Journal ( reports senior Judge Paul Summers, who sat on the case after local judges recused themselves, issued his opinion on Thursday. He ruled that the Board of Zoning Appeals properly approved the permit.

“The Board of Zoning Appeals heard public comments and received information from studies previously done on nearby property,” Summers said in his ruling. “There were many comments from the public on both sides of the issue. The record also reflects the BZA confirmed the signs on the property (to provide public notice about the meetings); they remained on display prior to the January meeting. The BZA announced the meeting and adequate notice to the public was given pursuant to the Open Meetings Act as to these petitioners.”

ICM attorney John Green said he was pleased with the ruling.

“As anticipated, the proper process in the judicial system has prevailed as members of the Islamic Center were always confident would happen,” said Green, who volunteered his legal services.

A lead plaintiff in the case, Bonnie Golczynski, and her attorney, Duncan Cates Cave, declined to say whether they would appeal. The plaintiffs had cited concerns about possible water contamination and traffic problems in their lawsuit.

Lou Ann Zelenik, who has supported the plaintiffs and was prepared to be an expert witness, indicated that the case could be over.

“You can’t appeal,” she said. “We’re done. I just hope there’s no significant drainage problems and no big accident on Bradyville Pike.”


Information from: The Daily News Journal,

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