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Hearing on mosque Thursday
Proposed site off Tidwell
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Forsyth County News
Residents will have a chance to voice their concerns Thursday over a proposed Islamic center in south Forsyth.

The Forsyth County commission will hold a public hearing on the Hamzah Islamic Center’s plan to build a facility on about 12 acres off Tidwell Road.

Tareef Saeb, chairman of the center, has said the mosque was originally proposed for property off Old Alpharetta Road, but other options were sought after “strong opposition” from neighbors.

Saeb said he is looking forward to tonight’s meeting.

“We drafted a letter of things we would be willing to do for our neighbors in terms of how the place would look and things we would do just to be as neighborly as possible,” he said.

“You never know but hopefully we’ve reached out to them and addressed any issues that they may have.”

Plans for the mosque include a roughly 20,000 square-foot building with about 130 parking spaces, along with a gym, playground and picnic areas on land currently zoned agricultural. The center’s current home is on Union Hill Road.

Residents who live near the proposed Tidwell  site have said they are concerned about traffic and property values.

Saeb said organizers held a meeting in June with those who live nearby. He said some who attended were friendly, while others were “prejudicial.”

“We talked everything from traffic to how the building is going to look and all the different aspects,” he said, adding that mosque representatives were also told they were not wanted in the area and questioned on whether they were “planted by some foreign country.”

“Overall, it was really more about who we are, what we’re trying to do and what is really the plan for us,” he said.

Saeb said the major sermon for the mosque is on Friday afternoons.

The commission is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. today in the County Administration Building.