BENSALEM, Pa. – Federal officials say their discrimination lawsuit against a Pennsylvania township over construction of a long-delayed mosque has been settled and the project can now move forward.
The Bensalem Township rejected a zoning variance for the Bensalem Masjid's mosque in 2014, leading federal authorities to sue the township for religious discrimination. The U.S. Department of Justice announced Tuesday that the suit has been settled.
Township Solicitor Joseph Pizzo says the variance was denied because the group didn't properly present its case to the zoning board, not because of discrimination. He cited high financial costs as a reason for settling.
Officials say the Bensalem Masjid will be allowed to use three adjoining properties to build a mosque. Bensalem also has agreed to amend its zoning rules to comply with federal requirements.