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City May Vacate East End of High Street

Residents asked for move to try and stop students from walking through their yards

Kent officials will take a close look at the idea of vacating an unpaved portion of High Street at its eastern end as a means to curb late-night student foot traffic in the residential neighborhood.

High Street resident Walt Adams first suggested the idea to the Kent Planning Commission in response to approval of plans for the on South Lincoln Street.

Adams said he would like to see the eastern end of the street vacated and left to return to a natural vegetative state in addition to construction of barriers or installation of more landscaping to try and buffer the neighborhood from the new rental complex. The proposal includes the suggestion to close a sidewalk that connects High Street to South Lincoln Street.

"You understand what our objective is, to cut down on the foot traffic and noise," Adams said.

The planning commission then passed the suggestion on to Kent City Council, which will consider the issue in August.

In a letter to council members, planning commission chairman Sean Kaine said High Street residents have testified — during numerous meetings — they they already are experiencing problems with students walking to and from downtown through their neighborhood.

"The residents are concerned that the city is not only overlooking the current problems, but that the additional housing to the east could make the situation worse," Kaine said.

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