Concerned residents of Southeast Kent voiced their concerns regarding the proposed intergenerational village to Kent City Council Wednesday night.
The intergenerational village is a proposed building by Kent State University off Allerton St, which butts up against many residential streets from the Southeast Kent neighborhood.
The neighborhood is made up of approximately 14 streets and is bordered by School Street, South Water Street, Chadwick Drive, and Meloy Road.
John Thomas of Chadwick Dr said that even though it is supposed to be a city/university development, there has been no engagement on the city side.
He brought up concerns about there being no elected officials or residents serving on the project committee.
“The council has a moral obligation to make sure 1, 2 or 3 of its own elected representatives are added to the city/university committee,” Thomas said. He also said he wishes for residents of the neighborhood to be involved in discussions.
Eric Nichols of Chadwick Drive said he wasn’t made aware of the potential development until less than 24 hours before the university announced it.
Nichols said he received a piece of paper on his doorstep around 6 the night before.
“It looks and smells and seems like a for-profit scheme with private developers,” Nichols said.
He worries about the impact that this development may have on Kent’s police, fire, sewer, water, and electrical services.
“We definitely beg for more discussion as a community,” Nichols said.
Wendy Yuzik said she and other residents attended a meeting on October 27 and asked several questions, most of which the university deflected or didn’t answer.
“I walked away from there really concerned,” Yuzik said. Yuzik then passed out flyers to other residents to gauge interest in a community wide effort to voice their concerns.
Thomas said the neighborhood has had several meetings about the proposed development.
Ward 3 council member Robin Turner addressed the citizens’ concerns and thanked them for taking initiative to speak up on their concerns.
“There are some things we can’t do,” Turner said. “that that authority lies outside our body.”
He said they will try to advocate for the citizens they best they can, and that they want to represent the citizens.
Other city council measures:
- Postponement of the appeal by Kent Sportswear until guidelines are developed by the Architectural Review Board
- Renewal of contract between city of Kent and Main Street Kent for another three years
- Approval of submission of two Transportation Alternatives Set Aside funding applications totalling $1,183,100 for the E Main Street project and the final segment of the Hike and Bike Trail.