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Protests erupt over proposed land use by Muslim organization

Even in today's relatively open-minded society, issues still arise that can cause deep emotional rifts between members of the population. This is particularly true when the issues at hand are based on race, religion or other polarizing topics. Recently, the debate raging between Georgia citizens living in Newton County has made national news because of the opposition to proposed land use by a local Muslim congregation.

The cities and towns that make up Newton County are generally considered bedroom communities of Atlanta. In that area, an Islamic congregation purchased land in 2015, and it subsequently became known that there were potential plans to build a mosque and a cemetery on the property. At the present time, however, the organization has not submitted plans for a structure and has also not applied for any building permits.

When the members of the community became aware about the congregation's plans, a groundswell of opposition developed. The county commission even placed a temporary moratorium on the construction of any new place of worship. This decision has resulted in significant public condemnation and could also result in scrutiny from the Department of Justice.

While this is a unique situation, many in Georgia may be facing opposition when dealing with local land use and zoning regulations. When a person, corporation or other entity encounters these issues, it may be beneficial to seek the counsel of an attorney who is experienced in real estate litigation. An attorney who focuses in this area of law can best evaluate each client's unique situation, and help determine the best legal options available.

Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Newton mayors take county to task over mosque reaction", Aug. 26, 2016

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