Podcast: What the City of Kent’s Ordinance has to do with Greek Letter’s on a house

You drive down the main street of Kent and you might notice greek letters hanging on some of the houses. At first glance, you may think they’re fraternity house and you’re right to assume this.

 

But there are more fraternity houses than what you just saw. But, you may not know it’s a fraternity house without the greek letters. That’s because these houses are restricted to a residential zoning, under Kent city ordinance.

 

But the ones on main street are under business zoning, according to the zoning map. So City Councilman and life long residence of Kent Rodger Sidoti explains this.  

“I can say that a fraternity is like a business and it should be treated as such. I’m sure you have an attorney and you’re attorney should come down and come down with the plans and say this is what we want.”

So does the city of Kent have a problem with houses getting Greek letters or is it other people’s concerns?

“The city responds to resident’s concerns, to property owners concerns. The city responds to concerns of neighbors that are around and so the question is, how do you balance the rights of everyone’s property ownership? How do you balance the safety, the relative ambiance of the community, of the neighborhood. So the city responds to the needs of its constituents,” said Sidoti.

But one argument is it’s mine house, shouldn’t I do what I want?

“That’s what gets to the philosophical situation. People have a right to do what they want, with their property as long as it doesn’t somehow deteriorate your neighbors property.”

Sidoti continues, “The city consistently, put into a position, by its residents, to balance the rights of property owners against one another.”

After taking time to study the law, one fraternity man Cody Pounds has a similar opinion of what the ordinance states.

“You know, it seems to me that primarily the city’s main goal right now is to protect the character of the neighborhoods.  I feel they don’t want anything excessive accruing in the areas of the town that are primarily residential.”

But Sidoti does explain how to try to take steps towards getting some sort of signage if a house would desire one.

“I think you would have to go to the planning commission and the planning commission would take a look at it and see if what you’re requesting to do meets the criteria of the legislation and the ordinances.”

He also goes on to say that maybe community out reach would help show the citizens of Kent a different light about Greek organizations or otherwise, kill them with kindness. 

 

For TV2, I’m Jacob Thompson.