Council talks noise violations at meeting

Ally Melling

Kent State students planning on throwing big parties at their residences may soon have to exercise some extra caution.

Last night, the Kent Health and Safety Committee passed a motion to bring a new nuisance ordinance before the City Council at a future meeting and vote on it. These “nuisance party regulations” are a more defined effort to control parties that disturb the city of Kent.

Public Safety Director Bill Lillich said the nuisance party regulations were adapted from legislation that came out of Bowling Green and proposed a solution to the committee’s “desire to expand on limitations on noise ordinances and to change fees of noise violation.”

Some of the regulations include open container, unlawfully loud noise, property damage, inconvenient behavior and public urination or defecation.

“The regulations empower Kent police to break up a nuisance party and prohibit resistance,” Lillich said. “They also create a penalty as an unclassified misdemeanor. There will be a $500 fine, and the limit will be $1,000 for the second offense.”

Lillich said the regulations hold the owner, occupant or tenant responsible, but stressed an owner will not be held responsible if he or she has not condoned the behavior and is not present at the disturbance. But the owner will be charged with the cost of the police visitation after the same address receives three complaints.

At this, landlord Christopher Myers rose to speak.

“Authority that penalizes landlords for the actions of tenants is wrong, wrong, wrong,” Myers said.

Ward 4 Councilmember John Kuhar also expressed concern.

“I’m afraid it’s going to get to the point where someone’s going to fall off a roof and break their head, and the landlord will be charged with assault,” Kuhar said.

Lillich and Law Director James Silver told the committee that all criteria of the ordinance are already in violation of other ordinances.

“This just gives us the extra ability to shut a party down,” Silver said. “Any one or more of these criteria can shut it down.”

Peach made sure to stress students were usually not the problem.

“I can assure you, the worst violators we’ve seen in these neighborhoods are not students,” Peach said. “Student mediation is weak because of this.”

Contact public affairs reporter Ally Melling at [email protected].