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Monday, September 22, 2014

Funeral chapel proposed near Backlick Shopping Center

The Mustafa Center

The Mason District Land Use Committee is expected to hear a proposal Sept. 23 from the Afghan Academy for a funeral chapel at 6839 Braddock Road, Annandale. It would be across the street from the Mustafa Center, a mosque associated with  the Afghan Academy.

People who live nearby are concerned that the project will bring more traffic to an already-congested area.

Helen Winter, a resident of the Hillbrook-Tall Oaks community, says the mosque’s parking lot isn’t big enough, and the overflow parking often fills up the Bradlick Shopping Center and spreads along Dodson Drive, especially when crowds come for Friday prayers.

“Some people don’t even come to the shopping center anymore because there’s nowhere to park. It’s hard for us to get out of the neighborhood,” says Winter. “It’s an untenable situation.” She says there have been a lot of accidents at the Backlick/Braddock intersection.

The funeral chapel would be next door to the huge Immanuel Bible Church at that intersection, which also generates lots of traffic.

The chapel won’t bring a lot of additional cars to the area, says Mohamed Bashir, president of the Mustafa Center, because large gatherings won’t be held there. The facility would be used for washing the body and dressing it in a shroud before burial, and only members of the immediate family would be present. A larger crowd would come to the cemetery.

According to Bashir, the funeral chapel is needed because there aren’t any other places nearby equipped to handle Muslim burial procedures properly. The closest one is in Woodbridge, and it’s not ideal.

The proposal calls for an old house on the one-acre site to be torn down and replaced with a larger, two-story, 40x40-foot facility. There would be 30 to 35 parking spaces. The Fairfax County Planning Commission is scheduled to hear the proposal Oct. 30.


  1. The traffic caused currently by the Mosque is unbelievable. On Friday afternoons I avoid the shopping center because there is always no parking. I can not believe that a funeral home would only need 30 to 35 parking spaces. Once again the over flow parking will be at the shopping center. The members at the Mosque have been known to drive over the median to turn left on to Braddock Road. This area does not need any more major traffic issues.

    1. I wonder why the church at the corner does not allow the mosque to use their parking lot on Fridays.
      This is not a funeral home but rather a prep center as the article states.We all have to go back to the sender sometime.

    2. If I am correct on the location of the proposed funeral home - this place currently has an ugly house with tons of cars parked on the lawn and trash everywhere. Its really unkempt.

      Also -I cannot imagine having a bunch of folks (cars and foot traffic) crossing back and forth there - it is hard enough to travel that area - and turn in and out of the shopping center.

    3. They are planning on having 30 to 35 parking spaces for a place that can seat 104 people. Also it is not just a prep center but family and close friends will come there. Per FXCO, Backlick & Braddock is the second most dangerous intersection. Let's add more traffic to an already dangerous intersection.

    4. Funerals happen all the time, not just around traffic time. Would be nice to see the old run down house go away. I think that shopping center needs a third bank.

  2. The Mosque in Falls Church also creates a traffic nightmare because there isn't sufficient parking on site, so worshipers must park across route 7 and dash across when they don't feel like using the cross walk monitored every Friday by Fairfax County Police. Parking must be at the forefront in the review of this application.

  3. Would having a traffic light put in help? It could be activated with a button during heavy pedestrian times (e.g. Friday evenings) and just flash the rest of the time.

  4. Perhaps it should be made into a dedicated parking lot for the mosque. Thereby solving the overflow parking problem and make a much smaller building.

  5. I love the idea of a dedicated parking lot.

  6. This area doesn't need anything else that could bring more traffic! The Bible Church School Kiss & Ride is ridiculous with the way the parents fly in and out of there and then make U-turns on Braddock Rd. The Phillips School adds a lot of congestion (buses from all over, plus employees) as does TJ with many buses and cars headed for their kiss & ride. Plus, of course, the mosque with their inappropriately tiny parking situation. Then Bradlick with its horrible entrance/exits and insufficient parking. Just stop. No more can be added to the Braddock & Backlick intersection!!!!!

  7. The major issue is traffic, lack of parking, and the design of the current shopping center lot. Both the mosque and the church accross the street causes folks to park in the shopping center lot. In addition to the conjestion, the placement of the lot's entrace/exits causes more problems. This is most dangerous and conjested in front of the Starbucks/ 7-11. It is problematic when cars want to make a left turn out of the lot on this side - they should either make it a right-turn only exit, or put in a light to help with this issue. Hopfully these issues could be addressed first.