Judge rules in favor of Sterling Heights in summary judgement against mosque opponents

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Judge rules in favor of Sterling Heights in summary judgement against mosque opponents
The mosque issue has provoked emotional responses from people in favor of the project, as well as those who oppose a mosque on 15 Mile Road. MACOMB DAILY FILE PHOTO

A U.S. District Court judge has sided with the city of Sterling Heights against a group of residents attempting to invalidate a consent judgment reached between the American Islamic Community Center and the city regarding the building of a mosque.

The group of plaintiffs includes seven city residents, one of whom is Jeff Norgrove, who ran unsuccessfully for mayor of the city. The group has already filed an appeal.

“This was put forth by people who don’t believe the (AICC) should have the same freedom of religion as others,” Sterling Heights Mayor Michael Taylor said. “Hopefully, this puts the whole issue to bed.”

Judge Gershwin Drain issued the 23-page opinion and order Wednesday morning from the U.S. District Court Eastern District of Michigan.

At issue was the city’s approval of a consent judgment regarding development of the mosque due to the group of residents’ (the plaintiffs) belief that the city did not follow proper procedures in approving the deal. The proposed mosque will be built off 15 Mile Road between Ryan and Mound and has been opposed for many reasons, including its location in a residential area, an increase in traffic, its size and for religious concerns. The AICC applied for permits to build the mosque through a special land-use request.

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