Proposed western Howard County Islamic center to be discussed

Residents in western Howard County have scheduled a community forum for Tuesday to discuss the proposed sale and development of the Woodmont Academy property, in Cooksville.

The forum will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium at Glenelg High School. Howard County Councilman Greg Fox and Planning and Zoning Director Marsha McLaughlin are expected to attend.

Many area residents are opposed to a plan proposed by the Dar-us-Salaam Muslim community, saying it is too much development for that part of the county. They have formed a coalition, Residents for Responsible Development of Woodmont, to oppose the size of Dar-us-Salaam’s plans and  ensure that future development of the Woodmont property is “appropriate in size and scope for the rural community,” according to the coalition website.

Dar-us-Salaam, a nearly 800-family Muslim community currently located in College Park, is planning to relocate its pre-kindergarten through 12th grade Al-Huda school and its community center activities to the Cooksville area. Dar-us-Salaam officials have an agreement in place to purchase the Woodmont property, located at 2000 Woodmont Drive, for about $8 million.

The development plans being considered by Dar-us-Salaam have not yet come before the county for approval.

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