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.

Corker Gives Statement Ahead Of Affordable Care Act Open Enrollment

Senator Bob Corker on Thursday released the following statement ahead of Affordable Care Act open enrollment, which begins Nov. 1.   “The Affordable Care Act was sold to the American people as a way to bring down health care costs and provide certainty to individuals and companies across our country. Unfortunately, the reality Tennesseans will face as open enrollment ... (click for more)

Overton County Couple Charged In Ongoing TBI Statutory Rape Investigation

Special agents from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have secured indictments for a Monroe, Tn., couple in connection to an ongoing statutory rape case.   At the request of 13th District Attorney General Bryant Dunaway, TBI special agents began investigating Travis and Traci Puckett on Feb. 12, 2015. During the course of the investigation, agents developed information ... (click for more)

Accountability Doesn't Have To Be A Bad Word

Am I making a difference? Isn’t that the basic question we all ask ourselves, and seek to demonstrate to others?  Ronald Reagan said:  “Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem.”   We would argue teachers do not have that problem either.    Educators make a huge difference ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘The Right To Bear Arms’

As the worldwide debut of the much-anticipated “Hacksaw Ridge” is set for next weekend, it didn’t take long for the anti-gun fanatics to decry “a war movie.” Mel Gibson, the director of the film that focuses on a conscientious objector Desmond Doss who refused to bear a weapon but saved an estimated 75 lives, was asked about America’s gun problem as he toured to promote the film. ... (click for more)

CPA Blanks CCS, 1-0, in A-AA State Soccer Semis

MURFREESBORO - The scoring opportunities were few for both teams, but Christ Presbyterian used a shot and a deflection off a defender for a 1-0 win against Chattanooga Christian in an A-AA state semifinal match here Thursday at the Richard Siegel Soccer Complex. District 12 player of the year Sarah Sievertsen scored the winning goal in the 54th minute as the Lions advance ... (click for more)

DeBord Happy To Have Kelly, Hurd In Vols' Backfield

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. --  Tennessee offensive coordinator Mike DeBord, defensive coordinator Bob Shoop and tight ends coach/special teams coordinator Larry Scott spoke reporters at Wednesday's press conference in the Ray and Lucy Hand Digital Studio. No. 18 Tennessee (5-2, 2-2 SEC) takes on South Carolina (3-4, 1-4 SEC) on Saturday at Williams-Brice ... (click for more)