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Wells-Sherman House Site Plan Approved by Planning Commission

Panel votes 3-2 to approve plan to put house at 247 N. Water St.

Members of the Kent Planning Commission voted 3-2 tonight to approve a site plan to put the historic Kent Wells-Sherman House on a vacant lot at 247 N. Water St. used by members of Standing Rock Cultural Arts.

The vote came after more than two hours of discussion on the issue, which has been a controversial topic among the community for the past several months.

"This is the final vote on this issue," Kent Planning Commission chairman Anthony Catalano said.

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Matt Fredmonsky September 05, 2012 at 02:00 AM
Readers, Please note, at Patch we prefer you post under your real names per our terms of use. Because this topic has proven controversial in the past, I ask that you please keep your comments civil and refrain from attacks against other readers. Also please note that you can submit your thoughts via a Letter to the Patch Editor, which we will publish in full provided you sign your name to the letter. Thanks! Your Friendly Neighborhood Kent Patch Editor.
Zach Schiller September 05, 2012 at 03:29 AM
Ridiculous.
Ian Jones September 05, 2012 at 04:03 AM
I'm happy the house will be saved as it is significant historically and architecturally for the city of Kent, but it's a shame that there couldn't be a better solution given all of the controversy between the two organizations.
Beth Goran September 05, 2012 at 04:08 AM
Truly disappointing. Hoping this isn't over for the green space.
David Badagnani September 05, 2012 at 06:21 AM
Why would the Planning Commission say "yes" to the exact same project they correctly said "no" to a few weeks ago? They seem clearly to have been directed to do so, despite overwhelming public support for preserving the green space and moving the antique house elsewhere. In such cases, usually one needs to follow the money. How much better it would have been had the Planning Commission adhered to its principles rather than capitulating to a moneyed interest. Their decision is a slap in the face to both the beloved arts organization, and to the respected Cherokee painter, both of whose work will be obscured by this house that does not belong in the spot that has been selected and mandated for it by the moneyed interests.
David Badagnani September 05, 2012 at 06:23 AM
The writer of this article knows full well that it is not proper for the Standing Rock Garden to be referred to as a "vacant lot."
Traci Monroe September 05, 2012 at 12:26 PM
WOW, property owners rights prevail amazing.
Tina Puckett September 05, 2012 at 12:51 PM
This did not change anything about the property owner's rights. KWSH are not property owners. The property owner already had a right to sell his land.
Tina Puckett September 05, 2012 at 12:55 PM
And as I mentioned before, why the concern with the way the politics were stacking up? I was not really surprised given Fink's comment that the Planning Commission would have to follow the recently empowered (by City Council) Architectural Review Board's decision (in contradiction with the codes he also listed stating that the Planning Commission is to take into account public comment) so I'm surprised that you are. I'm not sure I'm more surprised than the fact that the ARB meeting wasn't publicized while under Sunshine Law however, at least no record that I can find. Anyone still care to discuss rights?
Michael Pacifico September 05, 2012 at 01:22 PM
I still hear the bile coming from some who support the Standing Rock position. I am somewhat dissapointed in this as I know most of the people who are making these statements and have worked with them in various ways over the year. Did Standing Rock believe they would have free accesss to this land forever? The people who own it were generous enough to allow Standing Rock to use it for over 20 years. I remember the Free School that was set up years ago by people who are involved with Standing Rock. It was located where the Zephyr patio is now. Times change and land use changes. With the expansion going on downtown, it was just a matter of time before someone else would have purchased the North Water lot and who knows what might have been placed there. I also know the people who saved the Sherman-Wells house and they are not "monied" people, just smart at fundraising and dealing with the system. It's time for Standing Rock to work with the Sherman-Wells people and make the project one that will benefit the entire community.
Fred Pierre September 05, 2012 at 01:49 PM
I am proud of all the children who came out and spoke at meetings. I am proud of the petitioners who collected hundreds of signatures in support o the greenspace. I am proud of the polite demeanor of greenspace supporters. I understand how the commercial interests took advantage of the Friends by refusing alternate sites. I am ashamed of the cowardice of our city council, where only one member, Robin Turner, offered to help negotiate a community-based solution.
David Badagnani September 05, 2012 at 03:17 PM
Didn't you do the Tent City, Mike?
Erin LaBelle September 05, 2012 at 03:35 PM
As an extremely visual person, I would have to say that the house looks really out of place there because the neighborhood has a more industrial feel and is full of texture. It is the Wabi-Sabi part of town. It should go somewhere like the old jail at Fred Fuller so it can be celebrated and noticed. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wabi-sabi
Koogle September 06, 2012 at 08:14 PM
Yes. What she said.

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