Planners to Weigh New Fraternity House Rules

The Planning Commission today will consider prohibiting fraternity and sorority houses from opening within 1,000 feet of each other.

The ordinance was drafted in an effort to prevent problems that have arisen over the years because of the number of frat houses located close together, city planner Ted J. Commerdinger said. "This will prevent a concentration of these houses in the future."

The city's unofficial frat row--six fraternity houses next door and across the street from each other on Teri Place--has been blamed for numerous problems, including parking congestion and out-of-control parties.

Residents have been complaining about the problems for years, and police recently asked the city to revoke Tau Kappa Epsilon's permit to operate its house on Teri Place.

Police said the house had been the site of an alleged rape, a threat on an officer's life, a shooting and several rowdy parties where people younger than 21 were drunk.

Last month, however, the City Council gave the Cal State Fullerton fraternity a chance to clean up its act or face losing its permit in August.

Meanwhile, residents, the university, the fraternities and police have been meeting to try to address the frat row problems.

The proposed ordinance would affect any fraternity or sorority seeking to establish a house in the future.

Keeping the houses at least 1,000 feet apart might help in curbing the problems, city officials said.

It would cut down on noise and the number of people roaming the street as they go from one party to the next, Commerdinger said.

The Planning Commission will discuss the ordinance at 4 p.m. at City Hall, 303 W. Commonwealth Ave.

If commissioners approve it, the ordinance will go to the City Council for consideration.

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