The Department of Buildings has lifted the controversial hold they placed on the proposed 2812 Voorhies Avenue mosque today, providing the ultimate green-light for construction to begin immediately.
Backers of the Sheepshead Bay Islamic Community Center met with DOB officials today to clarify on certain points of their plan. Their final paperwork passed DOB muster, and the project has now been approved by the commissioner. The mosque’s proponents now need only to obtain work permits in order to break ground, which a DOB spokesperson said can be issued the same day the paperwork is submitted.
The city put the plans on hold last week to review whether a Place of Assembly permit was required. According to DOB spokesperson Carly Sullivan, it is a common auditing process which they imposed on over 1,000 proposals in Brooklyn alone in 2009.
However, the Brooklyn Paper/Courier-Life chain set off an ongoing storm of controversy over the DOB decision by depicting the city as caving in to pressure. At the time the story broke on their website, it read, “The delay smacks of a back-room deal, especially since neighborhood political leaders are supporting the city’s stunning turnaround.”
The editors have since changed the audacious and unsubstantiated statement to “The delay felt to Ahmed and others like a back-room deal, especially since neighborhood political leaders are supporting the city’s stunning turnaround.” (The original version can still be found on The Yeshiva World News website, which excerpted the article.)
Regardless of how some media reported the delay, it appears the mosque now has the blessings of the Department of Buildings and will move forward soon.