A Sandy Springs church has withdrawn its application to build a day care center after hearing outcry from surrounding neighborhoods.

Life Center Ministries, located on Mt. Vernon Road on the border of Dunwoody and Sandy Springs, had hoped to open a franchise of Discovery Point day care on the church property. A group of Dunwoody and Sandy Springs neighborhoods rallied together to raise money and hire an attorney to fight the proposal, which they saw as an encroachment of a commercial business into their residential area.

Pastor Buddy Crum said he decided to withdraw the application when he realized how unpopular his plan was with surrounding property owners.

“I had the whole world against me,” Crum said. “I did not anticipate that much resistance. I need to think about it and pray about it and see if that’s what we need to do.”

Crum said the church needs a facility for the growing number of children in the congregation. The church would need it primarily on weekends, so he wanted to open the franchise of Discovery Point so the community could use the building as a day care center during the week.

“I thought it was a very practical application that would be received openly,” Crum said. “I was just disappointed.”

Crum said he isn’t sure at this point if he will submit another application for a day care building.

“I’ve got two priorities: No. 1, make it a matter of prayer, of what God wants to do, and, No. 2, find an alternative way to take care of the children we have and the children that are coming that I have a responsibility for their spiritual development,” Crum said. “That’s all I’m thinking of right now and I don’t have any plans beyond that.”

Tim Radigan, who lives in the Brooke Farm subdivision in Dunwoody, helped organize the group of neighborhoods to fight Crum’s proposal. He said the group will continue to keep an attorney on retainer in case Crum resubmits his application.

“We hope he builds a smaller school that accommodates his church instead of a commercial facility,” Radigan said.

Radigan said he would like for Crum to agree to not build a day care franchise on his property.

“Just bringing it off the table means he’s going to go back and think about it, which doesn’t solve the problem in the neighborhood,” Radigan said.  “He can reapply at any time. What we’d rather him do is concentrate on building a facility for his church and not a commercial facility in a residential area.”

Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt wrote for Reporter Newspapers from 2011 - 2014. He is the founder and editor of Decaturish.com