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Khan upset with ICOM progress; city wants to speed things up

 

January 17, 2018



Mohammad Riaz Khan, the president of the Islamic Center of Mukilteo, is upset with progress in getting a mosque built in Mukilteo.

The Islamic Center of Mukilteo (ICOM), has land on Harbour Pointe Boulevard SW, but there hasn’t been much progress with the project over the last year.

Why?

Khan claims the city of Mukilteo is making matters difficult for his group.

“It’s time to give the city some push,” Khan said. “Every meeting with the city, they’re adding new people and new requirements. The city is putting more work every time and they’re slowing down the project.”

Khan also claimed ICOM has resubmitted the appropriate paperwork and completed studies for geotech and stormwater requirements.

“We have done everything twice to meet the city’s code,” Khan said. “Now they’re saying it’s not good, there’s too much back and forth, and we’re trying to do everything. All these requirements are putting us down. We’re ready to go as soon as we get the permits approved.”

Public Works Director Mick Matheson and Planning Manager David Osaki claim the city is working to finish permitting issues with ICOM so construction can begin as soon as possible, but ICOM is slowing down the process.

According to Osaki, the city received a permit application from ICOM in March of 2016, and the city issued its first review letter to the organization in June of that year.

ICOM resubmitted its application on Dec. 8, 2016, and the city issued a review letter on Dec. 22, 2016.

ICOM didn’t resubmit its application until Sept. 14, 2017, and its representatives met with the city once in that nine-month span.

Since then, the city issued another review letter, met with the ICOM team to discuss the review’s comments, and met with Khan on Jan. 4.

Matheson, who essentially has the final say in the process, was not at that meeting due to a family emergency, but was at a later meeting, and when this process started, Khan was meeting with Glen Pickus, who was the city’s planning manager. But now that is Osaki’s job, and Osaki said that may have caused Khan to believe the city was adding more and more people to their meetings.

“He was working with Glen, and now he’s working with me and Mick,” Osaki said. “We’re both fairly new to the city. We told his team that we needed to talk to Mick about how to decide on some administration issues. There were one or two deviation issues, and we were trying to get the head honcho in.”

Matheson and Osaki both said the city wants the process to be completed and are willing to do whatever it takes to expedite the process.

“Some of the ICOM members who have full-time jobs have limited availability,” Osaki said. “Mick and I are flexible, we can meet at night and go through everything page-by-page.”

“A night meeting is unusual,” Matheson said. “I never got that treatment in 25 years working in this. If they were serious about this, they wouldn’t have waited eight months before re-submitting or meeting with us. We would have been fired as consultants if we did that.”

The biggest holdup in the process is the city’s concerns with ICOM’s plans.

“We’ll receive a report and drawings and not enough information to do a plan review,” Matheson said. “We’ll respond to the application with deficiencies in their plan, and they then address them and resubmit it. There are issues with stormwater that aren’t allowed in our code.

“What we receive dictates what we can do. I’ve been involved in projects with seven or eight iterations. ICOM doesn’t appear to have an engineering consulting firm. There’s no logo on the plans.”

Matheson also said the process is complicated due to the location of the proposed mosque.

“It’s not a cut and dry process like building a deck,” Matheson said. “There are wetlands in the area, buffers, hydrology, surface water elements, retaining walls that need to be built. In meeting with them once, there are some concerns regarding the level of detail.”

Osaki and Matheson said there’s only so much the city can do in the application process short of building the application themselves, which they can’t do.

“Our role is to facilitate the applicant through the process,” Matheson said. “It’s complicated in any jurisdiction in western Washington.”

“We’ll get back to him about the on-site wetland mitigation process and a page turn,” Osaki said. “We’re working towards making this all happen.”

Author Bio

Brandon Gustafson, Editor, Mukilteo Beacon

Brandon Gustafson was named editor of the Mukilteo Beacon in October, 2017. Born and raised in Mukilteo, Brandon attended Mukilteo Elementary, Olympic View Middle School, and Kamiak High School, graduating in 2013. After high school, Brandon attended Shoreline Community College, earning his associate's degree while playing for the school's baseball team. He then transferred to the University of Washington, where he graduated in 2017 with a bachelor's degree in communications-journalism.

Email: mukilteoeditor@yourbeacon.net
Phone: 425-347-5634
Twitter: @MukBeaconBPG

 

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