Greenfield - The common council was expected Tuesday to approve plans to expand the House of Wisdom, a Shia Muslim center, and an Arab grocery store.

Both proposals won favorable recommendations from the plan commission, as did a request to change zoning from single-family home to apartment zoning to match neighbors. That, however, will require a public hearing.

The House of Wisdom, 11615 W. Layton Ave., wants to build three additions, The construction would allow enough space to nearly double the number of worshipers at the center from 49 to 91 and would add a dining and kitchen area.

City officials said it would be premature to conclude that the Muslim community is growing in Greenfield, based on the two requests coming together.

"I don't know if there's a way to know that," said Chuck Erickson, director of economic development and planning.

Little data

That information would probably only emerge in census data, said Mayor Michael Neitzke.

The Islamic Society of Milwaukee on Layton Avenue said it only has a rough estimate of 15,000 Muslims in the state.

Last year, the House of Wisdom bought an adjacent residential building. City officials approved rezoning and the center annexing the home to its property.

The center's plans only provide parking for 23 cars, which is short of the 30 required stalls. However, House of Wisdom leaders have the cooperation of the nearby West Layton Avenue Assembly of God to use its parking lot. While the church uses it on Saturdays and Sundays, the House of Wisdom congregation can use it mainly on Fridays for overflow parking.

As another fallback, center leaders spoke of adding parking to its driveway.

Alderman Karl Kastner said the proposed additions should fit in well. Kastner represents the area.

"I think it's an improvement to the building and the architecture," he said. Kastner is on the plan commission.

The site has been a house of worship since 1981. The center bought the building in 2006.

Grocery expansion

The Holyland Grocery & Bakery, that has occupied a former Open Pantry for at least 10 years, intends to expand into the entire building at  2755 W. Ramsey Ave. It wants to move its bakery from the grocery store into the space that had been leased by Check-Cash Advance.

While that plan can go through with council approval, a plan to build 30 apartments on 3.2 acres at 4142 and 4202 S. 43rd St. will need a public hearing for the requested rezoning and change to the city comprehensive plan. The project is dubbed The Sanctuary at Cherokee Point. A hearing will be held in two or three months.

The current zoning is for single-family homes, with two homes standing there now. However, the immediate neighbors on three sides are apartments and the Good Hope Cemetery is across the street on the fourth side.

The 30 units would be split into three 10-unit buildings. The breakdown would be 12 one-bedroom units and 18 two-bedroom units. All would be market-rate units, not subsidized.

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