To serve the growing number of Muslims in north Stockton, a new mosque may be built in the heart of Morada.
The Madina Center of North Stockton has applied to San Joaquin County for a use permit to construct a 13,820-square-foot mosque on the east Highway 99 frontage road, just north of Morada Market off Shippee Lane.
Project engineer Amin Mahmood will speak to the Morada Area Association tonight. The meeting is open to the public.
The mosque, proposed by Masjid Umar Farooq, is planned because the two mosques in Stockton and one in Lodi are getting crowded, Mahmood said.
Plans call for the mosque to be built on two acres that will include a prayer hall, office, multipurpose hall, classrooms for basic Islamic education and a small library, according to the application. There would be parking for 98 spaces.
The application shows that the Madina Center would draw 294 worshippers for the major Friday prayer. The remaining six days, 20 worshippers are expected for prayer.
Contrary to rumors that the mosque will be a regional operation drawing Muslims from throughout the county, Mahmood said it would serve only the Morada and north Stockton areas.
The association, consisting of Morada homeowners and renters, plans to make recommendations to the county about the project.
Source: Bill Fields, Morada Area
There would only be a couple of small classrooms, and no kitchen or conference rooms are planned, Mahmood said.
Bill Fields, a longtime member of the Morada Area Association and the Morada Municipal Advisory Council, said he is concerned about the potential traffic along the highway frontage road and the potential for noise.
"We're a residential community," Fields said. "I'd hate to see any religious facility there."
The use of the mosque of up to 300 people at a time would be the size of subdivision when it comes to water and sewer needs, Fields said.
County planner Mo Hatef said that traffic and noise studies will be prepared before the application goes to the county Planning Commission. The traffic study will take three or four months, Hatef said.