Appeal against Kent Sherman House move denied

By Kyle McDonald | Staff Writer Published:

An appeal seeking further oral arguments and reconsideration of a temporary injunction against relocating the Kent Wells Sherman House to North Water Street has been denied by a Portage County judge.

Common Pleas Judge John Enlow found Magistrate Kent Graham's November decision "sufficient" and denied continuing a preliminary injunction against Kent Wells Sherman House, Inc.

"The Court finds that there is no error of law or defect on the face of the Magistrate decision," Enlow wrote. "The Court further finds that the Magistrate decision contains sufficient findings of fact and conclusions of law to allow the Court to make an independent analysis of the issues and to apply the appropriate rules of law in coming to the final decision and judgement entry in this matter.

Kent attorney John Plough filed the objection on behalf of Save the Standing Rock Garden, which alleged that Kent's Planning Commission and Architectural Review Board acted improperly in approving the house's move to 247 N. Water St., a lot used for 20 years by Standing Rock Cultural Arts without ownership.

Save the Standing Rock Garden is composed of citizen supporters of Standing Rock Cultural Arts, but not of the organization's members.

Eric Fink, the city of Kent's assistant law director, said the ruling does not mean the legal case involving the house's relocation has been resolved.

"(The ruling) only confirms there is no basis for a preliminary objection," Fink said.

Fink said Plough had requested additional time to file briefs, which has led to a temporary pause in the court case.

Built in 1858 for Frances Kent Wells, daughter of town founding father Zenas Kent, the Greek Revival-style Kent Wells Sherman House was purchased by Kent State university along with a group of other boarding houses on Erie Street for the purpose of demolition to make room for a pedestrian walkway. Once a group of residents, now organized as Kent Wells Sherman House, Inc., announced intention to save the house because of its place in Kent history, KSU agreed to help the group move the house out of the walkway path and sell it to them for $1 if they could find a new site.

While the group prepared the Water Street site for the house's arrival, KSU allowed the house to rest on its land on College Avenue near DePeyster Street, where it currently sits while awaiting permit approvals for the site foundation.

Contact this reporter at 330-298-1127 or kmcdonald@recordpub.com

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  • Kent is no more a place for Kent history than it is for a supermarket. Move the house to Brimfield and put up a spite fence on the property on the N Water Street property.