The Rosemount City council approved zoning and comprehensive guide plan changes Tuesday that clear the way for the construction of a mosque in the former City Limits bowling alley on Highway 3. 

Assuming the Met Council gives its OK to the comprehensive guide plan, the property will be sold to the Minnesota Education Trust. The mosque and community center would be operated by the Muslim American Society of Minnesota. Community development director Kim Lindquist said the Met Council is not likely to have a problem with the change because the new designation -- business park -- is similar to the current commercial designation.

Council members had a few questions before they took their vote. The business park zone does not allow a school, which is something the Muslim American Society originally wanted at the site. Council member Vanessa DeMuth asked how the city could know the group was not secretly running a school.

“I question if you can have a successful school with no advertising, no signage, nothing on the website,” Lindquist said. 

Council members were slow to make a motion for the first of the actions it took regarding the changes, but ultimately voted 4-1 in favor of all three. Sean Nelson cast the only dissenting vote.

Council member Mark DeBettignies supported the changes but said he struggled with the vote because of his involvement in a task force that looked at options for redevelopment in the area the city calls its south urban gateway. That task force determined the City Limits property should be designated commercial. 

“This is very difficult and kind of painstaking for me when I put so much time into this,” he said.