(Imagine if your neighborhood transformed like this and how this much commercial activity would affect your property values and quality of life.)
(Source of most images shown here is the public Facebook page for Muslim Unity Center)
"Every amenity you could ever think of"...
in a residential neighborhood of Bloomfield Twp.
Do residents' concerns matter anymore?
What the Residents and Muslim Unity Center Agreed to:
REALITY: What Residents Got from the Muslim Unity Center
• The Center will not request variances. (No Requests for Expansion permitted)
• The Center is now three times the size it was at the time of the original agreement. Over 100 parking spaces have been added, construction to expand the facility increased the square footage by thousands of square feet.
• During approved construction for a larger prayer area, the mosque built a commercial size kitchen and a banquet hall that serves 750. In addition to offering the Banquet Hall for every event imaginable, the mosque offers big-screen viewings in the hall for sporting events. They sell tickets to Baking Classes, Super Bowl Parties, have opened a Cafe, and offer services for workshops, conferences, seminars, fundraisers. During Ramadan, the banquet hall sells "Break Fast" tickets and the services for "Break Fast" continue well past 11pm, nightly. Imagine how your neighborhood would be transformed if a banquet hall opened next door to your home and stayed open until after 11 pm nightly.
Ad for Banquet Hall. Accomodations up to 750 guests.
Commercial Kitchen for Unity Tree Cafe and Banquet Hall.
Mosque submitted plans for a SECOND banquet hall in 2014. Plans were tabled after parking proved insufficient for enormous facility expansion.
Residents fear the Mosque will resubmit those plans for approval in the near future.
Muslim Unity Center
• No profit making activities
• The Muslim Unity Center opens and operates a cafe open to the public.
• Toddler Daycare Program.
• Montessori Program.
• Infant Nursery.
After residents of Square Lake began speaking out about violations to the agreement and about the amount of traffic the Muslim Unity Center was generating, the Cafe Menu disappeared from the Muslim Unity Center's Site.
• Daycare just during services and not a full time activity.
• Advertises for-a-fee Infant Nursery Daycare
• Advertises for-a-fee Toddler Program
• Advertises for-a-fee Montessori School.
• A mosque or a fitness club? On top of the cafe and large banquet hall, the mosque offers fitness classes, with monthly memberships, access to a personal fitness instructor, soccer, volleyball, basketball. Showers available as well. Summer camps are conducted on the grounds for every age group. As a result of the fitness classes, neighbors see a continual flow of traffic from early morning until late into the evening. Would your neighborhood be the same with the installation of a banquet hall/fitness facility/summer camp facility? The residents' neighborhood has been completely transformed as a result of the traffic and events at the Muslim Unity Center. The Special Land Use Agreement which may have contained this commercial growth, has been ignored.
For the residents who reside around the Muslim Unity Center, their once tranquil neighborhood has transformed into a commercial zone where a banquet center that serves 750 is supplied with an endless flow of commercial trucks as well as a steady stream of members who come for exercise classes, a cafe/restaurant, baking classes, CPR classes, summer camps, kids' clubs, daycare and Montessori school.
Despite our outcry, our concerns are seemingly ignored by our elected officials. The residents' calls for adherence to township zoning laws are ignored for the sake of the Center, a majority of who's members may not reside in Bloomfield Township. A review of the events and happenings on the Center's Facebook page reflects an activities calendar where there are "for-a-fee" offerings seven days a week, with traffic running until after 10pm. The traffic generated by the open cafe/banquet hall and events is the equivalent of shopping mall operating in the midst of our neighborhood. This is the reason residents sought and received a Special Land Use Agreement. Sadly, this agreement has been ignored by Bloomfield Twp.
Beginning in 1997, the Muslim Unity Center began violating the agreement while the previous Board of Trustees shirked its responsibility of enforcement.
• A limited membership of approximately 300. Services on Friday and occasionally on Sunday.
• Services are offered seven days a week. Starting as early as 4:30 am and as late as 11:00 pm. For 30 days, from Mid-June to Mid-July, traffic around the center becomes so heavy, the mosque advertises for shuttle drivers to get members to the mosque. During this time, the Banquet Hall serves members beginning after 10:45 pm prayer services. For thirty days, 7 days a week, pedestrians, car horns, police lights and whistles proliferate the neighborhoods until well past midnight.