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Possible Conflict Delays Vote on Acorn Corner Signs

Kent Architectural Review Board reschedules vote on sign plan for old hotel restoration

The Kent architect working on the restoration of Acorn Corner had to delay his presentation for the building's signs to the Kent Architectural Review Board because he also sits on the panel.

Doug Fuller, of Fuller Design Group Architects, asked the board to table their vote on sign plans for the restoration this week after learning from Kent's law department that it may be a violation of state law for him to present the project to the board because of his role as a member of the panel.

Kent Assistant Law Director Eric Fink said Kent Law Director Jim Silver determined the potential conflict exists after the issue arose during a January meeting of the group.

"We have determined under both city and state ordinance that any member of the architecture review board cannot present in front of the architecture review board," Fink said.

Fuller asked the group to table the issue Tuesday on the advice of the law department.

In a Feb. 19 memo to the architecture board Silver wrote that members of the panel are identified as "public officials" under state and local law, and as such members of the panel who are architects by trade cannot represent clients in front of any of the city's governing boards, including the Kent Board of Zoning Appeals and Kent Planning Commission.

Fink said the law department is still trying to determine if another member of the firm could present a project on behalf of the architecture board member. The law department also is trying to determine if a member of the board authors the drawings for a project, would those drawings be admissible.

Elizabeth Eaken, a member of the architecture board and an employee of David Sommers & Associates, said the limitation hinders her ability to work as an architect in Kent.

She said that if she can't present a project to Kent's governing panels and a member of her firm can't either, then she'll be forced to resign from the architecture board.

"I don't have any choice," she said.

Further complicating the issue is the fact that members of the panel still can't make presentations for one year after their resignation.

Fuller said he doesn't expect Tuesday's delay will have much of a negative effect on the construction schedule for Acorn Corner and is hopeful the project's sign plan will be presented to the architecture board in March.

silly sally February 21, 2013 at 07:32 AM
as long as the signs are purple and hideous all should be fine right?
Donald S February 21, 2013 at 08:20 AM
cant be uglier than that "art work" downtown by the gazebo. Cant even get matching stone and a sign to explain what the pile of crap is? Kent needs to step it's game up. I cannot believe my tax dollars are going to this city. I want to know who I can talk to about this, emails, phone numbers, I do not care I want answers. This city is...well you know
Trans Plant February 21, 2013 at 12:56 PM
An easy solution: get rid of the Architectural Review Board and their Certificates of Appropriateness. I'm no Ayn Rand disciple, and most who are seem to misinterpret her flawed ideas anyway, but this ARB and the Certificates of Appropriateness must have been created by a Kent version of Ellsworth Toohey.
Shannon February 21, 2013 at 09:02 PM
Seems trivial, on the grand scheme of things. Why is everyone strangely silent when it comes to it talking about it taking a year to build a parking garage. Oh yeah...public money. Not a big deal. How about circling around and around for a parking spot in downtown..then just giving up entirely? Why is that not ever an issue? Oh yeah...someone in city authority would have to answer. Can't have that, cuz with an answer would either come empty rhetoric, or false promises. Cronies sitting on public monies do not point fingers at other cronies. Besides, an honest answer would have to also include that pesky "accountability" thing. Can't have that! Oh well, looks like the banal chain restaurants and Gracey Lane will have to go without my business. Oh, and I am not alone. Try doing a REAL story about how many people have given up entirely going down to that area. Afraid to ruffle feathers, Patch?
x February 22, 2013 at 12:01 AM
Right on!
Jim Williams February 22, 2013 at 12:54 AM
Donald S., your council person's contact info is available on the City website http://www.kentohio.org/gov2/council.asp. Have at it. Not sure what your beef is about the bicentennial sculpture, but tastes vary. Shannon, I don't even know what you're trying to say! In an article in which a board member tables a presentation because of...accountability, you are complaining about a lack of...accountability. And someone, somewhere has GOT to explain to me this issue with parking. I go downtown very frequently, including the busiest of times, and I have not once had to park more than two blocks away from my destination in over 25 years. Am I missing something, or am I just really lucky? Since there are usually spaces around where I end up, I'm thinking I'm missing something. Apart from Patch commenters, I've never heard anyone say they'd "give up" on going downtown because of parking.
sweet pits February 22, 2013 at 01:34 AM
if they're out of purple and hideous signs, i'm sure they'll settle for board-approved just. plain. hideous.
Rachel Marie February 22, 2013 at 10:49 AM
Please move. People like you make Kent look ugly. That way your tax money won't go to this city and you won't have to worry about it. Food for thought.
Shannon February 22, 2013 at 12:21 PM
Jim either rides a bike, or is on city council. Prolly both!
dharma freebird February 22, 2013 at 12:43 PM
I just don;t get it....Kent has not looked better!! I think I know since I have been here since 1982. Finally there are places to shop and eat without having to go to another city. This parking argument is ridiculous. There is a huge lot behind the new development. You can also find parking and walk where you need to go. I go to a hair salon downtown and have always parked and walked maybe a block or two. What problem to these people have with a bit of walking? You are either going to support the businesses here or not. I have not talked to anyone who does not want to support the new growth here. Really...signage is a big complaint and problem? OMG people...get a life!!
Teresa K. February 22, 2013 at 02:56 PM
JIm: It is not just Patch readers that feel parking is a problem The city is willing to spend 750K for parking stations that make you pay to park and HELP you to decide not to stay too long in the spot in order for someone else to park and shop. The CITY ( powers that be ) is saying it has a parking problem.
Chris (Kit) Myers February 22, 2013 at 03:11 PM
Why does the City think that people will leave their parking space when their time runs out? I guess none of our fearless leaders ever hear the statement, "Excuse me. I'll be right back. I gotta go feed the meter."
silly sally February 22, 2013 at 10:08 PM
samsies jim, been downtown for 17 years and have never had a parking problem.
Shannon February 23, 2013 at 02:54 PM
What is this parking lot that you speak of? The one that belongs to Ametek and Davey and allows employees, customers and what looks like construction people...or the private lot that belongs to the music store that will have you towed? Wanna know what the real deal is on growth increase, and zero parking...? Go ask the merchants. Ask them if they hear of or know of any type of parking dilemma. Forget the rose colored spectacle wearers here in this forum that will type out: "What's wrong with walking?" Well, a lot. I do not wanna trek through wind, cold rain, or snow for two blocks during my lunch 1/2 hour for a sandwich. For starters.
Jim Williams February 24, 2013 at 04:09 AM
I have asked. Let's see, Jasons' Barber Shop moved because they didn't have enough room to support their growing customer base. Popped has rented additional space to meet demand. HOME Markets continues to expand their merchandise selection to meet demand. Off the Wagon expanded a year ago into an adjacent space to meet demand. Do you see a trend here? So you don't want to walk two blocks? Pack a sandwich. But please stop projecting your distaste for a short stroll with an "everyone hates walking" mentality. Many are happy to make the effort, some aren't. Case closed.
Jim Williams February 24, 2013 at 04:13 AM
Shannon, yes, I do ride a bike sometimes, but if you noticed, I was talking about parking a car. Sadly, my address is outside of Kent, so I can't run for council, otherwise I would certainly try. Oh, and I would vote for paid parking in certain areas.
Russ Lilly February 25, 2013 at 04:10 PM
I have lived here off and on since 1970 and have never experienced a parking problem downtown. Sure I've had to circle the block a couple times to get a closer space that I wanted, but considering the dynamic scale of downtown development -- well it is holding together well.
Sue JEffers March 12, 2013 at 10:54 PM
Even people who don't live in kent are aware of the parking situation in kent, and actively avoid coming to town because of it. Those who ponder the question of parking spaces, and admit that they don't live in town and may have gotten lucky - you got lucky. this whole rush to subsidize private businesses and put up the food court and upscale specialty shops before securing proper parking will no doubt lead to the death of at least one of the startups - being handicapped by the economy, competition and the problems that 1st year businesses have is bad enough, but to actively pursue a course that makes it difficult and unpleasant to go near the shops is just stupid "planning". much like locating an unsustainable high priced hotel in the midst of the new shopping mall for the well to do. i noticed a sign yesterday directing people to some "overflow" parking that requires them to cross haymaker on foot to get where they want to go. bad decisions all around, but hey, at least we'll get to pay for it when reality sets in.
Shannon March 13, 2013 at 12:47 PM
An astute observation from Sue. Someone that looks at it from the perspective of what she is hearing and seeing. Be prepared for backlash Sue. The lemmings do not like when someone points out facts.Like the 3 businesses that are about to close their doors in that area. One, very popular...with people that walk (unknown to people that drive down, hoping to experience it).

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