Detroit suburb agrees to settle lawsuits over planned mosque

AP News
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Posted: Feb 22, 2017 11:36 AM

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. (AP) — A Detroit suburb that denied a religious organization's proposal for a mosque in a residential neighborhood has agreed to settle two federal lawsuits that alleged discrimination.

The Sterling Heights City Council voted late Tuesday to accept the settlements, including one in a lawsuit brought in December by the U.S. attorney's office.

Federal authorities said Wednesday that Sterling Heights will allow construction of the mosque.

City officials say the settlement keeps Sterling Heights out of costly litigation.

The city's planning commission voted in 2015 against a special land agreement sought by the American Islamic Community Center. A lawsuit brought by the community center noted a "hostile" commission and public.

Sterling Heights has said the denial was based on issues involving the building's size and parking.