DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — A Catholic monastery in Delray Beach is being sold with plans to build a nursing home in its place.
The cloistered nuns inhabiting Christ the King Monastery of St. Clare, 3900 Sherwood Blvd., have agreed to sell the property to a limited liability company that intends to erect a 240-bed nursing home in its place.
But it must first get the approval of the city's Planning and Zoning Board.
Christ the King Monastery of St. Clare, located at the corner of Sherwood Boulevard and Sutton Place in the Sherwood Park neighborhood off Military Trail, was built in 1967 on 34,060-square-feet of land.
The nuns of Christ the King Monastery of St. Clare have hinted at the possibility of downsizing for quite some time, writing on its website that their efforts to maintain the building "have become more and more futile."
"This is due to the many factors, including the age of the building, nearly fifty years old, the sprawling design which makes it difficult for our Sisters with physical limitations to traverse, and the ever-rising cost and lack of available repair parts for the antiquated mechanical systems," the website said. "To make matters worse, we have endured several great hurricanes that had created more destruction than we have been able to restore, even after several attempted renovations. We have never quite recovered from the damaging roof leaks and resultant loss of living space. We know with certainty that we can not occupy this present structure for much longer -- we're running out of patches!"
The developer seeks to rezone the property to allow for the construction of the nursing home.
An attorney representing the developer said the deal would help meet the county's needs for more senior living facilities.
"So it really keeps folks where they are, and it allows folks to age in place in their community, in a residential environment, that really adds value to everybody," attorney Brian Seymour said.
However, the plan is being met with resistance by some Sherwood Park residents who are fearful that a zoning change would reduce their home values.
"We do not support any zoning change that supports anything other than single-family homes," a flyer distributed to residents from "Concerned Residents of Sherwood Park & Lakeview" said.
Charlie Stravino is among those residents in opposition to the plan.
"It's not the correct place in a residential neighborhood for that type of a business or any type of a commercial occupancy," Stravino told WPTV.
Residents also expressed their concern about increased traffic in the residential neighborhood.
"Anything to the scale of what they're proposing would just wipe out any progress we've made as far as addressing traffic and potentially make it worse," Nicholas Coppola said.
They plan to share their concerns during Monday's Planning and Zoning Board meeting at City Hall.