City Council to consider nuisance ordinance

Andrew Gaug

The city of Kent may see a change in the way people party after City Council votes on an ordinance that defines a nuisance party.

The nuisance ordinance, which was approved for a council vote by the Health and Safety Committee last week, would put into effect a combination of violations that include underage drinking, public urination and open containers, among others. If any of these activities are taking place, police would have the right to disperse the crowd and arrest those who do not comply.

One of the leaders of the Health and Safety Committee, Councilwoman Carrie Gavriloff, said although this ordinance looks as if it’s aimed toward college students, its geared toward the whole city.

“If I wanted to have a wild party and the neighbors called the cops, I face the same penalty as the rest,” she said, “(The ordinance) is about keeping the integrity of the neighborhood.”

Councilman Rick Hawksley said the council is also looking into mediating with Kent State so they can set up programs to show people how to party safely.

“We’ve given police more power and a better ordinance,” he said. “(We’re) bringing administrative issues to the table so people will know how to act so the police won’t have to use force.”

Along with the ordinance, authorization for an amendment to raise the noise penalty from $250 to $500 will be discussed.

The meeting will be held at City Hall beginning at 7:30 p.m. Anyone is welcome to attend.

Contact public affairs reporter Andrew Gaug at [email protected].