A decision on the proposed conditional-use permit for the Faizan-E-Madinah Worship in Center in Sugar Land was tabled by Mayor Joe Zimmerman during the City Council meeting held Aug. 15.

This decision was made due to concerns raised by community residents and a communication gap between the worship center and certain residents, according to City Council meeting statements.

The move aims to give the worship center’s representatives an opportunity to address concerns raised by the neighborhood before a final decision is made.

The details

The council meeting centered on the proposed permit, which would allow for the establishment of a nonresidential place of worship at 13130 Alston Road. This location, described as Reserve A of the Faizan-E-Madinah, has created a significant amount of public interest and discussion, according to meeting documents and public comments.

The proposed worship center, known as the Faizan-E-Madinah Masjid, is intended to be constructed in two phases, covering approximately 46,943 square feet.

Phase 1 includes the main assembly area, the women’s entrance and restrooms, classrooms, additional parking spaces, and landscaping around the site. Phase 2 includes a multipurpose room, the men’s entrance and courtyard, classrooms, additional parking, and an outdoor basketball court, according to a presentation given by the worship center’s director.

According to the presentation, activities at the worship center will include but are not limited to:
  • Five daily worship prayer services
  • Friday congregations
  • Schooling of roughly 60 students who will be shuttled in from Houston-area dormitories
  • Sunday school
  • Summer school
  • Celebrations of major holy evenings in collaboration with the help of Sugar Land Police Department to facilitate traffic
What residents are saying

The Sugar Land Planning & Zoning Commission held a public hearing July 27, during which several concerns were voiced by community members. Noise, the scale of the building, light pollution and traffic were among the primary concerns.

“We are very concerned if this [permit] is approved. Our home is less than 100 yards from the applicant's property and will be directly affected by water runoff, noise, light pollution as well as the overall size of the property,” Sugar Land resident Kim Scott said.

“I’m opposed to this [permit]. It has adverse effects on adjacent properties, including traffic and property conditions. There are already traffic issues, parking issues spilling into the streets,” said Ken Langer, Barrington Place Homeowners Association president.

Additional public comment forms have been submitted since the commission meeting.

Next steps

After listening to the concerns of both the community and the worship center's representative during the council meeting, Zimmerman decided to table the decision.

Zimmerman said better communication with the neighborhood was needed to address the concerns effectively. He made a motion to table the decision, which passed unanimously, effectively putting the decision on hold.

“Having heard the people, I think you guys have not done a good job communicating with the neighborhood,” Zimmerman said. “I'm gonna ask that you go to the neighborhood and see if you can work this out. I strongly suggest you get with the neighborhood and see if you can address some of their concerns.”

The future

Council's decision to table the motion highlights the importance of open dialogue and collaboration in addressing the impact of developments on the local neighborhoods, Zimmerman said.

The status of the proposed worship center's permit will remain uncertain until the matter returns to City Council for further consideration.