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home : news : news August 23, 2017

3/2/2017 4:47:00 PM
Islamic Community of Bosniaks are appealing cemetery denial

The County Board decision to deny a permit applied for by a group of a few hundred families; organized as Islamic Community of Bosniaks of MN is getting outside review.

The Conditional Use Permit denial for a Bosniak Cemetery,  in Chisago Lake Township South, is the subject of a lawsuit filed at the state Appeals Court. It was filed February 17 and the County Board heard an update in closed session March 1.  Clerk of the Board Chase Burnham couldn’t reveal anything said between the county attorney and elected officials and told the Chisago County Press they are monitoring the suit for now.  

The county will be represented by Paul Reuvers.

The Islamic Community of Bosniaks MN or ICBMN have several attorneys listed in Appeals Court filing records, with Fredrickson & Byron PA the lead law firm.

The County Board denied an application for a permit to create  the Muslim cemetery on 16 acres on Lofton Ave, north of the Moody Round Barn.

The lawsuit alleges the denial was not supported by the record or the facts.  A cemetery is an allowed use under Sec. 5.03 of the county code.  

The township officials did not oppose the project and the county planning commission, which handles land use permits for the township, also sent it to the County Board with a recommendation to approve the Conditional Use Permit.  

The County Board voted to deny the application in December 2016 on a 3-2 vote (Commissioners Robinson and Montzka in support of approval.)

Findings cited by commissioners in support of denying the permit(see Press stories) included impact to surrounding property values, environmental concerns related to Islamic practices of “natural” burial, traffic, and location.

The lawsuit filing document declares the issue that needs to be decided-- is whether the denial by the County Board was unreasonable, arbitrary or capricious.

The Bosniak community seeks no relief or compensation at this time, they are only asking the court to rule on this as a land use action.

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