Ismaili Center plan approved


A group of Ismaili Muslims expects to begin construction of a 30,432-square-foot house of worship and center on Shermer Road north of Golf Road by spring of 2007.

The Village Board cleared the way for the controversial project with a 5-0 vote May 16. The center's facade, signs and landscaping remain subject to the Appearance Commission's review, which has yet to be scheduled.

Residents of the nearby Park Manor neighborhood to the east and neighbors to the north, who have opposed the center, packed hearings during the Plan Commission's eighth-month review, but only a handful attended the Village Board's final vote.

Neighbors are convinced the center will increase traffic on their side streets and generate early morning noise and light from vehicle headlights.

In response, the center will be required to provide volunteers to direct traffic so that no vehicles enter the Park Manor neighborhood; close off part of the parking lot closest to residences during early morning services; and plant eight evergreens on village owned right-of-way on the east side of Shermer Road to shield several homes from vehicle lights.

Mahmoud Eboo, who is president of the Aga Khan Council for the USA, which will build the center, said the review process was grueling but thorough.

"I think (trustees) are satisfied that all the issues were heard and addressed and we did everything we could to mitigate all the issues that were there," Eboo said.

Trustees approved residential zoning for the site, a conditional use permit so the group can build the house of worship and a final site plan.

The site's owners are members of a sect of Shiite Islam led by Prince Karim Aga Khan.

The center, with 322 parking spaces, is expected to be completed by fall of 2008. Initially, it is expected to serve about 400 members from Glenview and surrounding communities who now travel to centers in suburban Northlake and in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood. The group said it expects its membership to top out at around 900 members.

From Glenview Announcements [05-25-06]