Neighbors hope to buy Louisville Seminary land, prevent development

Neighbors fight plans for residential development near Cherokee Park

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Neighbors near Cherokee Park are fighting against a plans for a new residential development.

The Louisville Seminary wants to sell around 25 acres adjacent to the park for a new 70-home neighborhood.

Members of the Alta Vista Neighborhood Association said they don't want to see the tree canopy changed, and flooding caused by poor drainage is already an issue.

A listing for the Seminary on Realtor.com read “Unprecedented land offering at Cherokee Park, developers take note!”

It's a sales pitch that Cindy Carcione, who lives directly across from the property, said made her heart sink.

"Utter shock and surprise," Carcione said. "It was out of left field."

Friday night, Carcione saw her neighbor, the Louisville Seminary, listed on a real estate website.

That listing was confirmed Monday by a Presbyterian Theological Seminary official.

A statement prepared by Rev. Dr. Alton Pollard, the President of the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, stated that the group's Board of Trustees authorized the listing of 25.5 acres of land on the southern and eastern edges of the campus- adjacent to Cherokee Park.

"The land can't speak for itself," Carcione said. "So, we feel like that's our job."

Carcione said those in the neighborhood are concerned about the environmental and wildlife impacts a development would have on land so close to the park, that she said is also wooded and has trails.

A statement from the Louisville Seminary states the group understands the concerns adding:

“We will include covenant provisions in the transaction that would prevent a zoning change from the current single family residential zoning.”

The listing on Realtor.com states a preliminary subdivision layout has been drawn which would consist of either 78 or 72 single family lots.

Carcione said the Alta Vista Neighborhood Association is now working to prevent that.

"Our main focus is to purchase the land," Carcione said. "We'd like to reach out to other people in the community."

She said the Association will meet with Seminary leadership this week, in hopes of drumming up city-wide support to buy the land and ultimately give it to the Olmsted Parks Conservancy.

The Louisville Seminary said the upkeep of the property directed resources away from the core mission of the organization.

Full statement Regarding Land Sale On Louisville Seminary's Campus:

Recently, our Board of Trustees authorized the listing of 25.5 acres of land on the southern and eastern edges of our campus.

This parcel includes our dated housing units as well as space on the campus outskirts, the maintenance of which directs focus and resources away from our mission.

We understand the concerns that our neighbors may have about the land sale, and we will be selective in reviewing potential purchasers. It is vital to Louisville Seminary that what ultimately happens with this parcel be compatible with our campus and our mission, as we will be the closest neighbor.

While we can’t speculate on what a purchaser may do with the property (nor would we be involved in that), as the closest neighbor to this property, what happens here is important to us. We will include covenant provisions in the transaction that would prevent a zoning change from the current single family residential zoning.

Meghan Robinson, Olmsted Parks Conservancy director of marketing, released the following statement to WAVE 3 News:

“Olmsted Parks Conservancy is closely monitoring the sale of 25.5 acres at 1044 Alta Vista Road adjacent to Cherokee Park. Our mission is to restore, enhance and forever protect Louisville’s Olmsted-designed parks and parkways. Protecting Cherokee Park is the Conservancy’s top priority in this situation and we believe this exceptional greenspace is vital the community’s well-being.”

Copyright 2019 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.