City council passes motion to study Kent housing

Taylor Rogers

At its meeting Wednesday, Kent City Council passed a motion to carry out a “comprehensive analysis” of the community’s housing, with a special focus on student and elderly complexes.

The motion passed in a 5-3 vote.

It was the result of a proposal from John Kuhar, Ward 4 council member, who originally suggested that council examine the idea of a “moratorium” on large student housing complexes until the city could study the effects of the current projects.

Kuhar’s motion was amended to remove the word “moratorium.”

Garret Ferrara, Ward 1 council member, didn’t support the motion, saying it sent the wrong idea to the community.

“I don’t think that we need to send a message that we’re anti-development, anti-student,” he said.

Ferrara then suggested it be amended again as a “comprehensive analysis.”

Kuhar didn’t support the amendment, saying an analysis like that is already in progress.

“That wasn’t the intent of the original issue,” he said.

The real issue, he explained, is the effect that large complexes with empty beds could have on the community.

Robin Turner, council member at-large, did support the amendment as a way to examine where the community is in relation to housing. He said Kent State seems to be moving away from providing more on-campus housing and placing the responsibility on the community.

“We are in a kind of difficult situation right now,” he said. “A greater degree of urgency and focus should be put on the issue.”

Anna Staver contributed reporting.