Single-Family House gets Boarding House Status from Planning Commission

Solon resident plans to turn house into residence for daughter, her friends while attending Kent State University

The Kent Planning Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to give a Solon man permission to turn a single-family house into a boarding house.

The approval is contingent upon granting of several variances for the house from the Kent Board of Zoning Appeals, which has yet to vote on the issue.

Members of the planning commission and city administration commended Solon resident Steve Kubofcik for asking for the conversion instead of using the house at 335 Park Ave. as an illegal boarding house.

"There are many three-room boarding houses operating illegally in the city," commission member John Gargan said. “I think it’s one of the nicest houses in the area, so I don’t think (Kubofcik is) detracting from the neighborhood at all."

Kent ordinances prohibit houses with more than two unrelated people unless they obtain a boarding house status.

The planning commission also approved the conversion with the limitations that the boarding house status expires for the property when Kubofcik sells it and that the house be restricted to three tenants.

Kubofcik told the planning commission he bought the house in April in order to provide a residence for his daughter, while she attends Kent State University, and her two friends.

"It was in considerable disrepair, although much of the renovations were done by a previous owner," he said. "I took it to the next level and completed everything."

Kubofcik paid $50,000 for the property, according to the Portage County Auditor's Office online records.

Commission chairman Anthony Catalano suggested limiting the boarding house status to only while Kubofcik owns it.

"We don’t want boarding houses popping up throughout the city," Catalano said. "We want to control that. I think we’re saturated now with student housing."

Chris (Kit) Myers January 09, 2013 at 11:37 AM
So commission member John Gargan said "There are many three-room boarding houses operating illegally in the city." Well, Mr. Gargan, what are the addresses and who owns them? If you know of illegal housing activity in the city, and do nothing, perhaps resigning from the planning commission is in order.
Bee January 09, 2013 at 12:02 PM
Amen. Would have been nice to know where this new student housing has sprung up also! Why permit this in a single family area. People know when they buy if they can or cannot do a boarding house. It appears as long as you put money into a building the city will let you do what ever you want instead of protecting the older established residents property. Very sad!
Chris (Kit) Myers January 09, 2013 at 01:37 PM
Commission member Catalano vote in favor of the boarding house status, yet he said, "We don't want boarding houses popping up throughout the city. We want to control that. I think we're saturated now with student housing." Huh? Am I missing something here?
Teresa K. January 09, 2013 at 02:08 PM
Chris: you're not missing anything. Boarding houses have been on the books for years. It is a highly disregarded rule and no one to enforce it. The mentality in this particular case is that the guy bought it, fixed it up, made it look pretty and therefore should be able to continue to operate ILLEGALLY until he sells it. Lovely. I guess that means everyone operating illegally NOW can continue to do so. The City just doesnt want any NEW houses popping up. Now there's a worry....
Jessica Johnson Salamon January 09, 2013 at 02:28 PM
I drive by this house nearly every day and while I agree a lot of work has been done on the house, saying that "it’s one of the nicest houses in the area" is a bit of hyperbole. There are plenty of amazing houses in that area that are both well maintained and lovely. I don't understand the need to make it into a boarding house nor how someone purchasing a house and fixing it up qualifies them to run a boarding house. I suppose the fact that the owner sought a permit rather than run it illegally is a bonus though.
Randy McFarland January 09, 2013 at 03:09 PM
Its not like it is to be a house for vagrants ppl. He bought it for his daughter and 2 friends to live in, found a conflict in law. Now rather than just illegally going about his mary way and having his daughter and friends just stay there, he applied for a permit. Its not like he is trying to say tear down historical buildings for a walkway or squeeze 1500 student quarters into a block on Lincoln St now is it? The planning commission sure sounds about as useful as congress.
Randy McFarland January 09, 2013 at 03:28 PM
Teresa: Its not illegally now if they give him the permits. The situation was approached in proper manor. What seems to be the biggest issue here is setting up an agency to enforce the frivolous laws and ordinances that Kent makes. Or stop making laws and ordinances you dont plan to enforce.
Teresa K. January 09, 2013 at 04:06 PM
Randy: thanks for correcting me : ) I was under the impression the house was currently being used as a boarding house. Enforcement of current laws and ordinances IS a problem.
The Omnipotent Sponge - Soak it up! January 09, 2013 at 04:14 PM
"There are many three-room boarding houses operating illegally in the city," commission member John Gargan said. Nice advertisement to anyone who ever wondered if they could get away with running an illegal boarding house in Kent. Yes, yes you can. Talk about a free pass.
Sa;;y January 09, 2013 at 10:48 PM
Teresa, I believe the house was being used as a boarding house already. Early this past summer Mr. Kubofcik had several "open houses" and posted a sign regarding rooms for rent. If his daughter and friends were moving in he wouldn't have needed to rent it out. Did our representatives that commended this man for doing the right thing look into how many people are already living there and how long they have been there? Probably not! Someone probably threatened to report him and that is why he did the right thing. This home has been occupied by several tenants for quite some time.
Teresa K. January 10, 2013 at 02:47 AM
Sa;;y: ty... i thought it might be something like that : )
Morningglory January 12, 2013 at 05:43 PM
I attended numerous Council meetings when the decision was being made regarding Lincoln Street. Did anybody else get the impression that one sales pitch in favor of the project was that it would cut down on the number of boarding houses in Kent? Please don't let the discussion about this die down! Once students illegally move in, as we know it is almost impossible to get them out. If they are issuing Boarding House Licenses in residential neighborhoods and making it legal, it will depreciate the value of the neighborhood. I'm not going to call myself an expert on this issue, but I have had ALOT of experience dealing with Boarding Houses (legal and illegal), and it is a nightmare!!!!!!!!
Morningglory January 12, 2013 at 05:45 PM
By the way, Morningglory is me, Joyce Harris.
Morningglory January 12, 2013 at 05:50 PM
One last thought....Why did Mr. Kubofcik put money into this house before he had the Boarding House License? I don't know who would do that unless they felt assured that things would swing their way.
Chris (Kit) Myers January 12, 2013 at 07:00 PM
I am waiting for Mr. Gargan to provide the addresses and owners of the "many" illegal three room boarding houses that he knows are operating in the City of Kent. I would like to know where they are and who owns them, so I can work to shut them down since he won't. I will ask him for the list at the planning commission meeting on the 22nd of this month at 7:00. Anyone care to join me? I am going to notify the "Kent Stater" about this so that the editors are sure to have someone there.
Morningglory January 12, 2013 at 07:32 PM
Chris, I'm glad you're doing this. The thought of going to any meetings puts me in a state of anxiety! I'm not kidding! I went to a lot of meetings with neighbors regarding Lincoln Street and after all the talking, I felt like it was a done deal before we even walked through the door. Not a good attitude, but we were all extremely upset. I don't think anybody on Park Avenue or nearby was notified that a decision was being made unless it was a small notice in the R.C. Only way I knew was through Kent Patch.
Sa;;y January 13, 2013 at 11:32 PM
Went by this home today while out for my walk. The front yard and bannister on the front porch was littered with beer bottles and cans. I quit counting them at twenty-five. I hope one of the neighbors got some good pictures. I called the Council Pres to let him know someone needed to go check this out. He said he would advise Garrett Ferrarra (not sure of spelling) who is the councilman for this ward. What did our city rep say "One of the nicest homes in the neighborhood." Looked like a city dump this morning.
Chris (Kit) Myers January 13, 2013 at 11:37 PM
Stay on it Sa;;y. Don't let up! Show up at the planning commission meeting on the 22nd and ask questions! Show up at the council meeting on the 16th!
Morningglory January 14, 2013 at 02:57 PM
I'm confused! If you search property records at www.co.portage.oh.us, it reports K.T. North Coast Properties II LLC bought this property on 6/20/12 for $50,000. Sounds like a business, not a father looking for a place for his daughter to live.
Matt Fredmonsky January 14, 2013 at 03:58 PM
Mr. Kubofcik clarified that is his limited liability corporation. So he owns the house, just through that entity.
Randy McFarland January 23, 2013 at 09:09 PM
Sure burn the one guy going about it right at the stake so nobody else will be encouraged to do it right. It's the politicians that are supposed to be enforcing these laws you should be pointing at. Should have never gotten to this point. Lazy City of Kent.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something