The ADAMS Center’s Beaumeade branch will be allowed to move next door into a slightly larger space to accommodate the ever-growing numbers of Muslims who come to the mosque to pray.
The All Dulles Area Muslim Society faced opposition from some business owners around the Beaumeade Corporate Park, who said the larger space—which adds capacity for 50 more people, to 250—will exacerbate a parking problem and push out businesses in the same building.
“I have invested over a million dollars into just the physical plant improvements for Keeper Technology,” said David Donald, owner of Keeper Technologies. Donald has been a vocal opponent of the ADAMS application and has said his business has suffered from lack of parking, especially during Friday prayers at the mosque.
Although the mosque has submitted a parking plan and is working with the area’s Cape Court Commercial Condominium Owner’s Association on parking, Donald said the parking plan “is entirely unenforceable” and that the board should not take action without fully reviewing the plan.
“The problem with what’s going on here is that we have a special exception use that is expanding, and it’s pushing out the permitted uses,” Supervisor Geary M. Higgins (R-Catoctin) said.
Under a 1999 condition of approval on Beaumeade Corporate Park, all uses must go through a special exception process. Except for that condition of approval on that development, worship centers are allowed by right in that area’s zoning.
But other supervisors felt the county shouldn’t be getting into parking disputes.
“It’s hard to believe we’re actually even in the middle of this,” Chairwoman Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large) said. “It seems inappropriate that we’re even in the middle of this.”
Randall said she hasn’t seen the parking problem.
“I have now gone over there three times and sat in that parking lot three separate times on a Friday, so I know that there actually is plenty of parking spaces,” Randall said.
Others pointed out that the parking plan—which has ADAMS using 69 parking spaces at their location, with overflow parking across Beaumeade Circle at Christian Fellowship Church—is an improvement on the current parking, which allows ADAMS 110 spaces. An email from Cape Court’s attorney Noah Klein dated Oct. 4 indicates the Cape Court condo association board of directors has unanimously approved that parking plan.
“The status quo is much worse than this, and all we’re talking about tonight is whether the Board of Supervisors wants to be a condo association,” Supervisor Ron A. Meyer Jr. (R-Broad Run) said.
The board voted 6-3 to approve the ADAMS move. It is moving out of space it is renting from a synagogue, the Beth Chaverim Reform Congregation. Supervisors Suzanne M. Volpe (R-Algonkian), Ralph M. Buona (R-Ashburn), and Higgins voted against.
“This is a very special thing that’s happened here, where we have a mosque that was renting from a synagogue, who is now getting assistance from a Christian Church,” Meyer said. “I mean, that’s Loudoun for you.”