City gives way to rentals, reducing quality of life

According to the Kent City Council, more than half of all residences in Kent are now rental properties.

On Tuesday, May 2 the City Council approved another 500 rental units to be constructed in six-story buildings where the par 3 golf course is now. The City Council has determined that after operating the facility at a financial loss for several years, the only viable solution is to sell the property.

The developer has been granted an eight-year reprieve from certain property taxes that the city would have collected. Although there is to be public access to the 200-foot green belt at the adjacent river, the multifamily 500-unit development will have only 500 parking spaces for the 500 residential units. Yes, there are additional parking spaces that the public might use to access the green belt adjacent to the river, should there be any parking left after the residents and the businesses consume what little parking space is left.

Alternatives to building another large rental facility were dismissed from the conception of the sale to as recently as two weeks ago. At a recent City Council meeting, another plan was unveiled for what they refer to as the “Naden Property.” This is another large parcel of recently acquired property adjacent to the downtown section of Kent on which they are proposing a large development of residential rental properties.

Instead of leaving open spaces that had been promised to replace the ball parks taken when ShoWare Center was built, the city has shown that construction of massive tax-generating apartment complexes containing as many people as possible are their priorities. They think that by housing more people in Kent that they can tax those people so as to keep city government solvent.

No provision has been considered for the educational needs or public transit for the proposed new residents of these apartments.

Over the 36 years that I have lived in Kent, I have watched as large rental facilities and crime have increased in Kent.

The government of Kent has taken the “high road” by not allowing the marijuana business in Kent. At the same time, they have now shown that in their minds, quality of life issues are unrelated to the number of people who are to be crammed into what was once a great place to live.

– Bill Shorr

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