Bradenton Herald – December 31, 2005
Florida mosque designs modified
By Richard Dymond
SARASOTA - Without the 85-foot minarets that caused some controversy, a new $1.5 million mosque will break ground this spring, said Hytham Bakr, a member of the board of directors of the Islamic Society of Sarasota and Bradenton.
The new Islamic center at 4350 N. Lockwood Ridge Road will have 11,500 square feet of interior space, including a 5,000-square-foot main prayer hall, Bakr said.
The building, which will be built toward the rear of the 2-acre property, will be no more than 40 feet tall including its dome, said Bakr, whose Sarasota engineering firm, The Bakr Group, is the mosque's project management firm.
The small home near the road, which has been used as a mosque, will be torn down once the new building is erected.
Originally, the mosque's leaders submitted plans to Sarasota County for a 62-foot tall building, including dome, and two 85-feet minarets, Bakr said.
But Sarasota County ruled that the building too greatly exceeded the county's height restriction of 35 feet and approved a maximum height of 40 feet.
"Well, we will make the best of it," Bakr said. "Nothing changed but the height. Neighbors came out in massive numbers and influenced the decision. They were unhappy with the height." ……