Council Votes in Favor of Mosque Expansion, Ends Deadlock

The Lilburn City Council voted 3-1 in favor of allowing a Muslim congregation to build a 20,000square-foot worship center Tuesday.

The four-member council was deadlocked on a December vote of the zoning request, prolonging a yearlong conflict between Dar-E-Abbas, city leaders and residents who oppose the group's expansion.

Dar-E-Abbas, a Shiite congregation, currently is located in a 2,000-square-foot house.

The Dar-E-Abbas congregation, which owns and worships on 1.4 acres, originally sought to buy and rezone an additional 6.5 acres for an expanded mosque, gymnasium and cemetery. The congregation later said it would build only a mosque and parking lot. That request failed in December.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that City Manager Bill Johnsa says the city doesn't want to be defined by the issue.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.