A contentious proposal to build a Muslim cemetery in a Massachusetts town has cleared an important hurdle with approval from the community's zoning board.
The Telegram & Gazette reports that Dudley's Zoning Board of Appeals on Thursday approved the Islamic Society of Greater Worcester's plan to develop a cemetery on 55 acres of former farmland under conditions.
The conditions attached to the board's special permit include a 10-year moratorium on expansion beyond an initial 6-acre cemetery; a vegetated buffer zone; and properly landscaped maintenance.
The board initially denied the permit and abutters expressed concerns about increased traffic, decreased property values and pollution.
A lawyer for the Islamic Society said anti-Muslim bias was in part to blame for the opposition.
The cemetery still needs approval from other town boards.