St. Scholastica Campus
Decision on the St. Scholastica Zoning Change Request
Decision - Approved
The St. Scholastica project is a well-thought-out proposal. The plans will add 80-100 new senior housing units and allow the Benedictine Sisters, who have committed their lives to charitably giving back to our community, to age in place.
The Sisters worked with counsel from NNRO and their consultants for several years to determine how they can remain living on the location while addressing the financial constraints of St. Scholastica.
After hosting a community meeting in early June and soliciting feedback from the community, it's clear that the proposal has the support of our community. Our office received 72 responses to the survey, with an overwhelming 82% supporting the zoning change request.
Respondents expressed support for allowing the Sisters to age in place and expanding senior housing opportunities in the area. Concerns were expressed about losing green space on the site and the potential for increased traffic in the area. We will work closely with the Benedictine Sisters and their selected developer to address these issues when finalizing plans.
This decision will allow the zoning change request to go before the Committee on Zoning and Landmarks in July. If it passes in committee, it will then head to City Council for a final vote. Once approved, the Sisters will then be able to seek a suitable contractor to develop the site.
Submit Feedback on St. Scholastica Zoning Relief Request
On June 7, 2021, the 49th Ward office joined the Benedictine Sisters from St. Scholastica to discuss a zoning change they are seeking for the northern 3 acres of their property located at 7430 N. Ridge.
The St. Scholastica community conclusion that the residence at their long-term home, as it is, is not sustainable. As it continues to age, it has become increasingly difficult and too expensive for them to staff, maintain, and oversee the operation of the campus.
With counsel from NRRO and their consultants, the Benedictine community has decided that to address their needs, they will sell a parcel of land on their campus. They are seeking zoning relief so they can build 800+100 modern, senior independent living units. This would allow the current sisters to age in place while expanding senior housing options in the ward.
The proposal is still in the early stages of planning. The Benedictine Sisters have not yet selected a developer for the project. First, are soliciting feedback from the community on the concept so they can submit for a zoning change. Should they be granted zoning relief, they would then begin to vet potential developers for the site. The process will likely take years and will include multiple opportunities for community input and feedback along the way.
Please take a moment to view the community meeting. Submit feedback on the proposal by clicking the button below.
Community Meeting for St. Scholastica Monastery Zoning Change Scheduled for June 7
Over the past several years, the Benedictine community has been engaged in an in-depth study and discernment of who they are as a community and what their future might look like. As a part of this study, they have connected with the National Religious Retirement Office (NRRO) and outside consultants to assist them in looking at their life and retirement needs, ministry and legacy considerations, and property concerns. Prior to engagement with these consultants, it was evident that the building is too large for their community. This was affirmed by the consultants.
It was with great consideration and a heavy heart that the St. Scholastica community came to the conclusion that the residence at their long-time home, as it is, is not sustainable. As it continues to age, it has also become increasingly difficult for them to staff, maintain, and oversee the operation of the campus. As it is, the monastery building is too large and expensive to maintain. With this conclusion, they recognize the need to modernize their housing.
With counsel from NRRO and their consultants, the Benedictine community has decided that to address their needs, they will need to sell a parcel of land at the north end of the campus to a quality and experienced senior living residential developer. This developer would build, own, and operate a senior living facility on the land. The proposal would include 80-100 modern, senior residential units. The Benedictine Sisters would live in the units so they wouldn't be displaced from their community. The remaining units would be made available to other interested seniors. The proposal will help address the needs of the Benedictine community, allow the sisters to remain in their community, and address the need for senior and affordable housing in the Rogers Park neighborhood.
Please join the Benedictine community and my office for a virtual community meeting to discuss the proposed zoning change on Monday, June 7, at 6 pm to discuss the plans and the future of the Benedictine campus. Register online for the meeting at bit.ly/BenedictineMeeting.