Garneau residents angry over plans for fraternity

A frat house: not next to my home, say residents living where a developer wants to build a giant four-dwelling fraternity the middle of a residential block.



Kathy Bruce-Kavanagh of the Garneau Community League says new frat houses are not welcome in older residential neighbourhoods with young families.


"We don’t want to see a frat house where people are already living because there have been problems in the past," she told Metro yesterday.

The proposed fraternity also goes against the city’s existing redevelopment plan for the community, she says, which includes keeping new frat homes away from residential areas.

Earlier this year, the city received a proposal to rezone a parcel of land located at 10945 88 Ave. in order to approve the future building of a fraternity, according to the city’s planning and development department. If the proposed frat house is approved, an amendment will be needed to Edmonton’s redevelopment plan.

Some residents are outraged over the proposal, citing ongoing problems with existing frat houses located in pre-designated areas. Residents have also reported fights and loud parties late at night, Bruce-Kavanagh said.

"There were people who got drunk out of their minds and someone put their fists through a front plate glass window," she said. "They took a two-by-four and smashed it through vehicles."

One neighbour near the proposed development even fears for her safety and is terrified of speaking publicly about her concerns because of past problems with older fraternities.

"I don’t want to talk because I don’t want them to know who I am," the woman said from her front doorstep.

Coun. Ben Henderson, whose ward includes the Garneau area, says he’s aware of the concerns being raised by local residents. He says he doesn’t want to see families living next to frat houses in the historical Garneau neighbourhood either.

"This has an impact on the neighbourhood and there was intentional controls put in place for those kind of reasons," he said yesterday.

public meeting

  • A public meeting to discuss the rezoning will be held Thursday. Residents can express their concerns in the drama room at the City Arts Centre at 10943 8 4 Ave., starting at 7 p.m.