Boarding House Conversion Approved by Zoning Board

Second request to convert house on Summit Street tabled

The Kent Board of Zoning Appeals voted Monday to grant a request to a Solon man to turn a single-family house on Park Avenue into a boarding house.

The three members of the board present voted to grant two variance requests to Steven Kubofcik for the house he owns at 335 Park Ave.

The variances, regarding lot size, were granted on the condition that one resident of the house must be a blood relative of the owner.

Kubofcik told the zoning board that he wanted the change of zoning status from single family to boarding house only while his daughter attends Kent State University. He said he was OK with the blood-relative condition.

"When she’s out in three years I don’t plan on having the property anymore," he said.

The zoning board had debated his request at length during its meeting in January. The vote on the issue had been tabled until this month.

The Kent Planning Commission approved the site plan for the conversion in January with the condition that no more than three people live in the house.

After Kubofick's request, the zoning board heard a second request to convert a house zoned single family into a boarding house.

Donald Vargo, of North Royalton, OH, asked the zoning board to allow him to convert the house at 315 E. Summit St. into a boarding house via two variances which, like Kubofcik's request, also dealt with lot size.

Vargo said he wanted the conversion because all the houses adjacent to his property are operating as boarding houses.

"My entire retirement fund … is invested in real estate in Kent," Vargo said. "I’m always interested in doing the best thing."

Vargo said he owns nine other properties in Kent and they're all rentals.

Zoning board chairperson Elizabeth Howard said when considering variances the board must review if the request has any practical difficulties or exceptional circumstances, or if granting the variance(s) would prove detrimental to the surrounding neighborhood.

"I am not convinced that there is any practical difficulty or an exceptional or extraordinary circumstance," she said. We’ve received a number of these requests to convert to a boarding house … from a single family. We’re not saying yes to everything. And even some of the other ones we’ve said ‘No’ to had more … explanation."

Vargo asked the board to table their vote on his request after hearing comments from Howard and zoning board members Dave Mail and Paul Sellman, all of whom indicated they might oppose the requests.

Vargo's variance requests were tabled until the board's April 15 meeting.


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