Attorney General: Villa Hills Did Not Violate Open Meetings Law
The squabble over a forthcoming mixed-use development in Villa Hills found its way to the Kentucky Attorney General's Office.
Steven Schletker, an opponent of Sanctuary Village, a project by Edgewood-based Ashley Commercial Group, complained to the AG's office that city council violated the state open meetings law when the council chambers could not accommodate the large crowd that showed up.
Council meetings in the city have grown contentious in recent months when they relate to the development, which calls for new single family homes, an apartment building, and commercial opportunities on the current site of St. Walberg Monastery.
A meeting on May 16 at the city building did not call for discussion on the project, but opponents flooded the building and could not be accommodated. In spite of that, the meeting went on as planned. Schletker, on behalf of the organization Defend VH, filed a complaint alleging an open meetings law violation.
The Office of Attorney General Andy Beshear disagreed, arguing that the City of Villa Hills did not anticipate the large crowd and made reasonable efforts to maximize public participation.
In a public Facebook post, Defend VH stated that it would explore appeal options through the Kenton County Circuit Court.
The full opinion from Beshear's office can be found below.
Meanwhile, the City of Villa Hills held a meeting last week that led to capacity in the council chambers and the opening of an overflow area in the public works garage where a live television broadcast of the meeting was presented. A reporter from The River City News attended that meeting in the public works garage.
At the meeting, there was discussion about the creation of a Tax Increment Finance (TIF) District for the new development.
Attorney James Parsons, of Keating Muething & Klekamp, who often speaks on TIF issues in the region, explained that a TIF would reinvest some tax revenue from Sanctuary Village in infrastructure improvement.
Residents at the meeting continued to express concerns about the expected traffic increase, the addition of an apartment building, and potential legal issues.
The creation of a TIF District will require two readings of an ordinance, the first of which is scheduled for Wednesday night's meeting of the Villa Hills city council.
Michael Monks and Connor Wall