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Plan for Monastery Site in Villa Hills to Be Open for Public Discussion

The draft plan for what may become of the St. Walburg Monastery site in Villa Hills will be up for discussion next month.

Early last year, the Sisters of St. Walburg Monastery began working with the City of Villa Hills and Planning & Developent Services to plan for the long-term future of their property. Their efforts focused on crafting a plan for the property to help them achieve their retirement needs as well as benefit the city. A Study Task Force was created and is comprised of representatives from St. Walburg Monastery, Madonna Manor, and Villa Hills city staff, city council, and residents. It met monthly to create a study that delineates possible uses for the sisters’ property within the context of the Kenton County Comprehensive Plan.

The work has resulted in the Task Force’s vision for the future. 

The Villa Hills Study is based upon the public input, an independent market study, expert interviews with regional development companies, staff research, and significant discussion, drafting and re-drafting with Task Force members. The Task Force is ready to share their draft plan with the public and get feedback from residents.

The public can view the draft plan and provide insight at an open house on Wednesday, January 4, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The meeting will be held in the River Ridge Elementary School cafeteria (2772 Amsterdam Road, Villa Hills). 

“When we began to plan with the city and PDS in early 2016 we were not quite sure what to expect. We knew we wanted a new zone designation, but we did not know that request would lead to a 58-page study,” said Sr. Mary Catherine Wenstrup, Prioress of St. Walburg Monastery. “We knew the history of our land, but knew very little about what would be required for the property to be developed. We are grateful for all the support we have received, confident in what the Task Force has proposed, and ready to share the study with our neighbors.”

The open house style meeting is designed to give attendees an opportunity to view research associated with the plan, learn about the draft recommendations from the Task Force, and provide input on the plan. “We learned a great deal from the community during the first public meeting for this project and we’re hoping for another good turn-out at this one,” said Villa Hills Mayor Butch Callery. “We will take what we learn and make any needed changes before finalizing the plan.” 

For more than 150 years, St. Walburg Monastery of Benedictine Sisters of Covington, Kentucky, Inc. has served the church and local communities in Northern Kentucky by providing education, health care and other pastoral services. For over 110 years the Benedictine sisters have lived on Amsterdam Rd., now in the City of Villa Hills. In 1904 they established Villa Madonna Academy and in 1964, Madonna Manor, a health care facility for senior adults. In 1972, Villa Madonna Montessori School was created.

-Staff report

Image via Kenton County Public Library