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A development proposal for Lino Lakes that includes a new mosque brought residents out by the hundreds for a city meeting this week, setting off a debate about the root cause of the opposition.

About 300 people packed into the Lino Lakes City Council meeting Monday night at City Hall, many forced to stand in the hallway and watch on a video feed. The Madinah Lakes proposal was not even on the meeting's agenda, but nearly everyone present was there to talk about the project.

"If you think this Madinah development is for everybody, how many people want to live next to a mosque?" resident Jason Donahue asked during the meeting's open public comment period, drawing a few gasps from the crowd.

Before the meeting, Faraaz Yussuf, the owner of Blaine-based Zikar Holdings, which is developing the project, said developers expected some pushback over the mosque. But Yussuf said he's surprised by the volume of outrage he's seen in social media posts. Responding to the angry comments, the developer said "a lot of that is driven by Islamophobia and having a mosque in the development."

"It's a lot of — I want to say misconceptions — but I think that's putting it nicely," Yussuf said.

The proposed development would be built on 156 acres of what had been the Robinson Sod farm, at 310 Main St. Yussuf said the mosque would take up 10 acres, with the remaining land used for homes and a commercial corridor with restaurants, coffee shops and more.

The homes would be intended to accommodate 440 families, and would consist of apartments, townhouses and single-family homes.

Residents who spoke against the project said it would put too much strain on the area's schools, law enforcement and infrastructure.

In response to complaints about potential noise, Yussuf said the mosque would not be putting out five daily calls to prayer over loudspeakers. He said the development would welcome people of all backgrounds.

Supporters included a mix of Lino Lakes residents, several affiliated with the project, and out-of-town visitors.

"For us to hear some concerns that people are worried about a mosque being built, it saddens us a lot," said Sarah Chebli, a Blaine resident and communications director for the Muslim American Society. "All we want is to build a building where we can go and worship, and as a community."

The developers submitted a land use application to the city last week, but the submission was deemed incomplete, City Administrator Sarah Cotton said. If the application is resubmitted and deemed complete, it will then be reviewed by the city. It's yet to be determined when or if the topic will be discussed as an agenda item.

Lino Lakes Mayor Rob Rafferty did not respond to a request for comment. In the council meeting, dozens held signs, most in favor of the project. Some said, "No to limits, yes to development." Representatives of the the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations also attended the meeting in support.

Darren Zabinski said he moved to Lino Lakes three years ago, specifically looking for a quiet place to live, away from the noise of large cities. He said he believes development of Lino Lakes should happen gradually and that large-scale developments such as this are "too big too soon."

"I don't care if it's a Jewish synagogue and community going in here, I don't care if it was a Catholic church putting up a community — it's too big," Zabinski said.

Luke Walter, speaking during the meeting, said he thinks that "the sad truth is that those supporting this development want to paint a narrative of hate and hostility in the hope that people will fear to voice their objections," Walter said. "Our objections are reasonable, and we won't be silenced."

A couple of Muslim residents of Lino Lakes said they have to travel to Blaine or Minneapolis in order to worship and would like to have a mosque in the city they call home.