Villa Hills mixed-use development jumps another hurdle

Villa Hills mixed-use development jumps another hurdle

VILLA HILLS, KY (FOX19) - The Kenton County Planning Commission have approved the re-zoning of land near St. Walburg Monestary to make way for a mixed-use development.

The decision came after a nearly six-hour public meeting where 200 residents were scheduled to speak out in favor or in opposition of the proposed project.

You don't have to travel far into Villa Hills before you start seeing signs posted in several residents yards showing their disapproval of a proposed mixed use development that would be built on Amsterdam Road adjacent to the St. Walburg Monastery.

Tuesday night, many residents who oppose the plan made their voices heard to the Kenton County Planning Commission.

"This really does dramatically increase the population of the city and what does an increase to the city like that bring," said Attorney Todd McMurtry.

The proposed development would include building new condos, apartments, a space for small shops and businesses plus a park area.

"That is completely out of character with anything that has taken place in our city," said Steve Schletker, Villa Hills Resident.

Steve Schletker has lived in Villa Hills since 1984, he says the project would cause the city to lose it's quiet small town charm.

"The traffic is going to be terrible when the build this out," said Schletker.

During the meeting a traffic study showed that an additional light and a roundabout may need to be added.

A sister addressed the crowd saying that they want to sell the 86 acres of unused land to fund the Benedictine Sisters retirement plan.

"We know that to live is to change. We believe the sanctuary will provide a variety of housing opportunity for current and new individuals and families that will positively affect our community and the city of Villa Hills," said Sister Mary Catherine Wenstrup, Benedictine Sisters of Covington.

"We certainly recognized that the Sisters need to sell the property and fund their retirements. We support that. What we don't support is is the specific proposal that Ashley Commercial has on the table right now," said Schletker.

Schletker says he's mainly opposed to the housing plans including the apartments.

Ashley Commercial Group has a contract to purchase the land, which is contingent upon the city council approving the development.

Jason Yeager, a partner with the group, says he is a bit surprised by the push back but in the end says it's a win for the community.

The proposed development now goes before Villa Hills City Council for final approval.

It has 90 days to make a decision.

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