Farella’s Don Sobelman Assists South Valley Islamic Center to Secure Cordoba Center Mosque and Cemetery Project Approval
SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 18, 2019: With the help of Farella Braun + Martel Partner Don Sobelman, South Valley Islamic Center (SVIC) has won approval for its 16-acre Cordoba Center Project in San Martin, California.
Sobelman has represented SVIC on a pro bono basis since 2012 in an ongoing California Environmental Quality Act and permit process for its Cordoba Center—a development project including a mosque, community center, and cemetery to serve the needs of the local Muslim community. The project was approved by unanimous vote of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors on December 17, 2019.
Sobelman argued for SVIC at both the August Planning Commission hearing, where SVIC prevailed by a 5-2 vote, and at the December 17 Board of Supervisors hearing, where the Planning Commission’s decision was upheld on appeal, 5-0.
“I am proud of this work and thrilled that SVIC can finally move forward with the development of the Cordoba Center,” said Sobelman. “This project is so important to the approximately 100 Muslim families in south Santa Clara County who have used a barn as a mosque and gathering space for almost 20 years and have had to travel 60 miles to the nearest Muslim cemetery. After purchasing the land in 2006 and enduring a 13 year wait, SVIC can now build facilities that will not just serve the religious and cultural needs of the Muslim community, but will promote interfaith dialogue, diversity, and religious and cultural tolerance.”
SVIC is a founding member of the Interfaith Community of South County (ICSC), an interfaith organization comprised of 17 local religious institutions. The 2018 Gavilan College Community Spirit Award recognized SVIC’s history of service to the local community.
Representation of SVIC with respect to the Cordoba Center Project was in collaboration with Downey Brand LLP, with the support of both Muslim Advocates and the Stanford Religious Liberty Clinic.
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