Church expansion causes growing pains in Embry Hills community

Embry Hills Church of Christ
Embry Hills Church of Christ(WANF)
Published: Feb. 16, 2023 at 7:27 PM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - At the intersection of Chamblee Tucker Road and Embry Circle, you can see and hear the growth taking place at Embry Hills Church of Christ.

But for people living next door, this expansion is causing growing pains.

Bill Blumberg is President of the Embry Hills Civic Association and said the neighborhood is concerned with how the church is handling the project.

“We still don’t clearly understand where on that big property they’re going to be blasting,” Blumberg said. “We specifically addressed the question of blasting as a part of their initial request for a special land use permit and we were told it was not going to happen and it was not necessary so it’s a little bit disappointing to see the rules change all of a sudden.”

He said homeowners received blasting notices telling them to secure items in their homes and that the church will begin blasting on Friday.

“We’ve got neighbors here that are out of town right now. What do they do? They don’t have a way to secure items. This is happening very quickly and so I’m trying to see if we can get people to contact them that may have access to their homes,” Blumberg said.

Atlanta News First contacted the church and a member told us they have been in the community for more than 50 years and they not only want to be good neighbors, but they also have no intention of causing issues for anyone.

They also said, “we are pleased that we have designed in such a way that the known rock problem area is closer to our own church building than it is to any of our neighbors’ homes.”

“This is going to happen over a two-week period. I’m struggling with how that’s not going to create irreparable damage,” Blumberg said.

Embry Hills church issued the following statement:

“Our church has been a part of the Embry Hills community since 1969 and we eagerly desire to continue to be a good part of this community and serve it to the best of our ability. We want to do our best to be good neighbors and have no intentions of causing issues for anyone. Our church is blessed to have experienced growth over the past fifty years, and we are in need of expansion in order to continue to best serve our community. In our expansion efforts we have encountered rock and must blast within a limited area to complete the expansion on our property. We spent a great deal of effort designing our project with the intent to avoid rock to the maximum extent feasible. Given the site constraints we face on this property, including topographical challenges and the additional drainage infrastructure we agreed to implement as part of the permitting process, we feel that we have avoided rock as much as we feasibly could. Also, we are pleased that we have designed in such a way that the known rock problem area is closer to our own church building than it is to any of our neighbors’ homes. We have followed all the necessary County permitting procedures and will continue to do so as we understand the sensitivity of undertaking a construction project in an area near homes. We hope that the investment we are making into our property will be something that the community can be proud of when it’s completed.”