Facebook group

Yungmann said to use the conditional use process to change the zoning of the property is a detriment to the community because of environmental, infrastructure and traffic concerns.

"The local community just really has that dumped on them," he said.

Woodbine resident Vicky Cutroneo attended the first HOA meeting and started a Facebook group, "Preserve the Woodmont Academy land," shortly after.

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As of earlier this week, the group had more than 2,600 members; Cutroneo invited just 75 people to join after the meeting.

"I am really surprised at the rate it grew," Cutroneo said. "Every neighborhood is energized about it."

Both Cutroneo and Yungmann said religion has played no part in their opposition to the plans.

"It's not to them, it's to the sheer size of it," Yungmann said, referring to the community opposition.

Hasan declined to give details about the community's fundraising for the $8 million needed to purchase the property, but said it is under way.

After eight years in Howard County, the pre-kindergarten through eighth grade Woodmont Academy closed in June 2011 due to declining enrollment. The school moved to Cooksville in 2003 with 246 students, but could not register 160 students for the 2011-2012 school year.