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Frat House Parking Changes Approved by Planning Commission

Four East Main Street fraternity houses will have new parking lots to accommodate the PARTA transit center

Changes are coming to the parking lots of four fraternity houses on East Main Street to make room for the new .

At Tuesday night's Kent Planning Commission meeting, Bryan Smith, director of planning for the , gave a rundown of the changes to the houses at 224, 230, 300 and 312 E. Main Street.

Planning commission members Peter Paino and Melissa Long were absent, but all changes were unanimously approved.

Each property's parking lot has to be reconfigured to fit the facility, and the work will be done at PARTA's expense, Smith said. Smith and TranSystems designer David Watkins, a consultant on the project, worked with property owners to make sure the houses still had as much parking as possible.

The property at 224 E. Main, owned by Bret Roberts, will go from having nine spaces to five, commission chairman Sean Kaine said. The property also is losing green space in the reconfiguration.

"We have to maximize the amount of asphalt because this house is farther back on the property than the others, so there is not enough depth to put a parking lot that meets the code," Watkins said. "We originally wanted to have the parking lot face the rear of the property, but there's not enough room to back a car out and not hit the house."

Kaine questioned whether there would be anywhere to put plowed snow, to which Watkins said there was space on the side and at the back of the lot.

When questioned about the number of people living in the house and whether five spaces would be enough, Roberts said he has seven tenants, but three don't have cars.

"I've been told that we'll have off-site parking," Roberts said. "In the future, I could offer the house to tenants at a discounted rate if they don't bring a car. We agreed on five spaces. If I could have six, I'd love it, but I agreed to five and that's where I stand now."

The properties at 230, 300 and 312 E. Main St. are owned by James Hauch. The property at 230 will go from nine spaces to eight. Both 300 and 312 started with 10 spaces each, and the parking lots will be combined to total 20 spaces available between the two houses.

Hauch did not express opposition to the planned changes.

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