Variance Board Denies Permit For Sorority House At Fort Wood

Neighbors Cite Cursing, Drinking, Sex In Yard At Fraternity

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The City Variance Board on Wednesday morning voted unanimously to deny a special permit for a sorority house in the middle of a residential block in historic Fort Wood.

A large number of Fort Wood residents filled the meeting room to protest the proposed Kappa Delta Sorority house at 836 Vine St.

Residents said Fort Wood already has two fraternity houses and two sorority houses and does not need more.

An alumni representative of the group said Kappa Delta is the only UTC sorority without its own house.

She said it was planned for 10 sorority members and an older housemother to live in the brick residence that is offered for sale by Porter Yarbrough.

She said the group has one sorority meeting a week attended by 65 members and it is over as early as 7:30 p.m. She said no alcohol would be allowed at the house and doors would be locked at 11 p.m.

She said there was adequate parking in the rear.

A city inspector said the site had adequate parking and met other code requirements.

But Fort Wood residents said it would worsen parking problems and devalue property because of the added noise.

Dr. Tom Bibler, president of the neighborhood association and longtime UTC professor, said 71 residents had signed a petition in opposition.

He noted the presence of the other sorority and fraternity houses and said, "there is a limit to what a neighborhood should endure."

David Eichenthal, who lives next to the site, said he and his wife had invested over $100,000 in remodeling their historic home.

He said the sorority members would likely use his driveway to get to the parking area rather than a rear alley.

He said it was "the wrong use in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Mr. Eichenthal said Fort Wood has been changing for the better - with extensive investment by homeowners.

A woman who lives on Fort Wood Street near a fraternity said it "seems to be a 24-hour, 365-days-a-year business."

She said there was loud cursing at all hours, sex in the yard, smoking of marijuana, and boys and girls alike using the bathroom in the yard.

A woman on Oak Street said she is near a fraternity where there is constant abuse of alcohol.

She said that fraternity house is in a rundown condition.

UTC Vice Chancellor Hubert Prevost said the university had been working with the neighborhood on problems related to the fraternity and sorority houses.

He said students in those residences are under the discipline of the university.

Vice Chancellor Richard Brown said there had been discussion of construction of facilities for Greek-letter organizations, but the student groups had not been able to afford the cost.

He said another idea was to group members of an organization at one end of current student housing.

Former Tennessee Sheriff, Associates Arrested By The TBI

A joint investigation by Special Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and investigators with the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury has resulted in the indictment and arrest of the former Gibson County Sheriff and several of his former employees on charges including theft and official misconduct.   At the request of 28 th District Attorney General Pro ... (click for more)

Girl, 13, Found Dead At Grandmother's Home At LaFayette

A 13-year-old girl was found dead Monday morning at the home of her grandmother at LaFayette, Ga. Police said the cause of her death is unknown at this time. The body was sent to Atlanta for an autopsy. Her body was discovered at 6:15 a.m. She was staying with her grandmother while her father worked a third-shift job. (click for more)

Why Are We Allowing Poor Architecture And Urban Design Downtown?

   Over the past four decades our fair city has enjoyed striking improvements to our City Center and Northshore areas in large part due to citizen input and the guidance of the former Urban Design Studio. We are now widely recognized as a hotbed of entrepreneurship, neighborhood revitalization and good Urban Design. At the most recent City Council meeting, the leader and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Garden In December

As the fallen leaves confirm today is the first of December, my monthly walk in life’s garden is more foggy than fun. In much-older times, good children would get a piece of candy on Christmas Day while bad ones would receive a lump of coal. So here are some things that deserve a helping of both: A PIECE OF CANDY to the amazingly few who can spy a nest of mistletoe high in area ... (click for more)

No 1 Connecticut Overwhelms Lady Mocs, 79-31

At least 6,104 basketball enthusiasts got to see what the best women’s college basketball team in the country looks like Monday night at McKenzie Arena. The three-time defending national champion Connecticut Huskies won for the fourth time this season and 41 st game in a row with an impressive 79-31 victory over the Chattanooga Lady Mocs before the seventh-largest crowd in ... (click for more)

Ryan Parker and Traneil Moore Are Mr Football Winners

Senior Ryan Parker of Baylor School and junior Traneil Moore of  East Ridge have been selected as Tennessee Titans Mr. Football winners for 2015. Parker is the D-II AA Lineman of the Year and Moore is the D-I 3A Back of the Year Ryan Parker - Baylor School ... senior linebacker/running back ... 2015 stats included 95 tackles, 30 tackles for loss, eight quarterback sacks, ... (click for more)