Kent extends DORA hours to 11 p.m. and approved brewery rezoning

Photo of a red brick road intersection in downtown Kent. The street signs on the corner read franklin ave and Erie Street
Natalie Wolford/The Portager

Kent City Council extended hours for the city’s Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) to 11 p.m.

Council had proposed only extending the hours for Saturday, June 26, when the city will host multiple bands and a fireworks display, but ultimately determined that it would be easier to enact a blanket extension.

While there will be no vendors, as past Heritage Festivals have had, bands will perform at the Hometown Bank stage and the Dan Smith Community Park stage from 2 to 9:30 p.m.

Performers include the Flat Earth Ramblers, Immortal Porpoises, Rachel and the Beatnik Playboys, and Mo’ Mojo. The fireworks display will be set off from Kramer ball fields at 10 p.m.

The event is sponsored by the Kent Area Chamber of Commerce, the City of Kent, AMETEK, Hometown Bank and Woodsy’s Music.

Good for business

City leaders also approved rezoning 107 Lake St. from Industrial to Commercial Downtown, clearing the way for North Water Brewing Co. to serve food and other retail items. 

The city’s planning commission approved the change in a 3-0 vote with one abstention April 6, and a public hearing was held June 2.

North Water Brewing Co. is on the same plat, thanks to a parcel combination in 2004.

“We have been open as a brewery for the last seven months and we realized the need. We were not allowed to sell things we did not manufacture. We’re not allowed to sell food because of the industrial zoning,” brewery partner Bob Mayfield said after the meeting.

Under industrial zoning, the brewery was not even allowed to sell chips, let alone soft drinks or apparel, he said.

Industrial zoning provides the brewery with increased flexibility, including hosting events, he said. Eventual plans could include adding a restaurant with a full-service kitchen.

More from the meeting

  • Council named Karen Beck to the Portage Area Regional Transit Authority Board for a three-year term beginning June 30. Ben Tipton, Kathie Slater and Thomas Pascarella were named to the city’s Salary Review Committee, which will meet until the committee’s recommendations are made. Warner Mendenhall and Jeff Roeger will serve as alternates.
  • Council accepted a $13,995 donation from the Portage Foundation to fund new signage for the Historic South End neighborhood. Advance Display will create the signs.
  • Kent will submit two funding applications totaling $1,495,200 to the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study (AMATS) Special Resurfacing Program. If awarded, funds will be used to resurface Main and Water streets and Mogadore Road/Summit Street.
  • Council also authorized the city to submit two funding applications totaling $945,000 to the Ohio Public Works Commission. If awarded, funds will be used for two of the four final water clarifiers at Kent’s Water Reclamation Facility and to install about a half mile of water lines. The clarifiers were built in 1964; rehabilitating them is part of the city’s long-term improvement plan. According to the ordinance, the existing water lines are old and undersized, and have broken 16 times in the last decade.
  • Kent will create a new budget line item to enable it to accept its share of American Rescue Plan Act funds. No definite plans have been made for the windfall as the U.S. Treasury Department continues to provide guidance as to how the funds may be used.