East Longmeadow, Mass. (WWLP) – A new house of worship could soon be built in East Longmeadow. There’s plans to construct a mosque for Muslim worshipers at 52-58 Maple Street.
East Longmeadow Town Council President Kevin Manley told 22News the developer, Jay LeFebvre, still needs to apply for a permit and submit a site plan. “He did come in and submit some architectural drawings and indicated that he was going to submit formal plans for the planning board to review, so we are kind of at the very beginning stages of any of it.”
The property runs through East Longmeadow’s Town Center. The plot is mostly empty, aside from a historic train depot that would need to be moved if the project were to go forward.
The lot is currently zoned as a commercial space. Massachusetts zoning laws state that religious houses of worship can be built regardless of what the property is zoned for.
The lead architect for the project is Gregory Neffinger, a former Town Administrator who was fired. Manley said this could cause some controversy; “Based on the involvement with the town and his history it could bring some people out of the woodwork that wouldn’t normally come out to say something just because he’s involved in it.”
The Islamic Society of Western Massachusetts told 22News they are not aware of any plans to build a mosque at this time.