People will come up to me and say “Why on earth did the City allow XYZ new business to open for business?” Often, I actually share their opinion, but the reality is, the City has certain statutory requirements that we can ensure are upheld, but dictating what business can go where is usually well beyond the City’s control. Sure, we’ve got some zoning control, but that just makes sure manufacturing, retail and residential stays where it’s allowed — it doesn’t mean we have any say as to which retail can go in a retail zone. And frankly, when I say “we,” it’s really “they” — with they being the Planning Commission. The City staff have an advisory role but at the end of the day, development decisions are made by your fellow citizens. Read more about the Kent Planning Commission.
The City Planning Commission is a body of five members appointed by City Council. The Commission is supported by a staff of professional planners and engineers.
The Kent City Charter, Section 61(b) reads as follows with respect to the Planning Commission:
Section 61(b). Planning Commission
The Planning Commission shall consist of five (5) residents of the City appointed by Council who shall serve without compensation. Council may also appoint ex-officio, non-voting members by ordinance. A member of the Planning Commission serving on January 1, 1978, may complete the term of his or her original appointment, but in the event of the death or resignation of such member, Council shall fill the vacancy for the unexpired portion of the terms of that member. Subsequent appointments shall be for a term of five (5) years and the expiration of the terms shall be on a one-year staggered interval basis. No one shall be appointed for more than two (2) full terms consecutively.
The Planning Commission will have all the rights and powers granted to it by the laws of Ohio or ordinances of the City or this Charter.
The Planning Commission shall adopt such rules and requirements for plats and the laying out of allotments as is deemed necessary and advisable, subject to Council approval. Such rules and requirements shall be placed on file in printed or typewritten form in the office of the Director of Public Service.
The Planning Commission may control, appoint, or employ such architects, engineers or other professional service and may appoint such clerks, draftsmen or other subordinates as are necessary for the performance of its function. The expenditures for such service and employments shall be within the amounts appropriated for such persons by the legislative authority of the municipal corporation and such legislative authority shall provide for the expenses and accommodations necessary for the work of the Commission. (Amended 11-5-85.)
The City of Kent Planning Commission meets on the first and third Tuesday of each month. All members, appointed by Council, serve as volunteers.
Here’s the Planning Commission Schedule for 2007: