BAYONNE, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey zoning board has turned down an application to open a Muslim community center. The vote in Bayonne followed five hours of discussion that the chairman said included some embarrassing audience comments.
The board voted 4-3 in favor of the proposal, which needed a minimum of five affirmative votes in order to pass. Those who voted against it cited parking and traffic concerns.
The nonprofit Bayonne Muslims group has been trying since 2015 to open the center, which would include prayer halls, a soup kitchen and classrooms. It has been using a closed school as a house of worship.
The Jersey Journal (http://bit.ly/2lS6Bvg ) reported board chairman Mark Urban told the audience to stop making comments about religion, because it was a zoning issue.
This story has been corrected to show the board voted 4-3 in favor but needed five votes to pass, not voted down 5-4.
Information from: The Jersey Journal , http://www.nj.com/jjournal