Lubbock neighborhood concerned about TTU fraternity house next d - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Lubbock neighborhood concerned about TTU fraternity house next door

Source: Ashlyn Tubbs Source: Ashlyn Tubbs
Source: Caleb Holder Source: Caleb Holder
The Durhams & Chadis (Source: Ashlyn Tubbs) The Durhams & Chadis (Source: Ashlyn Tubbs)

It's a purchase that has several neighborhood residents concerned for the well-being of their neighborhood.

That is what was discussed at the Heart of Lubbock Neighborhood monthly meeting Monday night, after a Texas Tech fraternity officially bought a home near 33rd Street and Avenue S late last month.

Lambda Chi Alpha bought the house for their chapter because Greek Circle One and Two are already full.

Michael Husband, the Lambda Chi Alpha Housing Corporation president, said they have looked for available housing off campus for about three years because of that.

While Texas Tech Spokesman Chris Cook confirmed both Greek Circles are full, he said there are talks underway of a Greek Circle Three.

Husband said they decided to buy this home in the meantime, and finalized the purchase in late December.

But many of the neighborhood residents are concerned about why they were not contacted about this decision before this meeting.

 "You know the old saying, it's better to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission?" resident James Durham said, "That's exactly what these folks have done."

Residents expressed concerns based on past fraternity parties they said happened in their neighborhood that caused noise and trash to be scattered about. They also worried about property values decreasing.

City councilman Juan Chadis attended the meeting to try and answer these residents' questions.

"You can't prohibit someone to come and purchase property," Chadis said.

However, fraternity houses like this are not allowed in residential neighborhoods according to city code, unless they have two occupants in the front house and two in the back house. That is what Husband said they plan to do.

Even so, fraternity parties, chapter meetings, and similar activities are also not allowed under city code, and the city would investigate any complaints that came in to their code enforcement office.

Stuart Walker, the City of Lubbock code enforcement director, said the only way that would change would be if they get a variance through the zoning board of adjustments.

Husband is aware of this said they are looking into options that could make their house more code friendly.

He wrote a letter that was passed out at the meeting that informed residents about their plans for maintenance to the house, security and safety upgrades, and even alleviated parking congestion.

He also said fraternity members could help beautify the neighborhood by picking up trash and forming a neighborhood watch group.

"We want to be given a fair chance to be successful," Husband said, "and we want to prove the naysayers wrong."

Anneliese Bustillo, a support coordination with Texas Tech Risk Intervention & Safety Education, also attended the meeting to stick up for this fraternity because she believes they can be good neighbors.

"They never talk over me, they ask really good questions," she said, "and I've always been really impressed with that…so I have a lot of respect for this particular chapter."

Between the conclusion of this meeting and the time the projects are completed to Lambda Chi Alpha's house in August, both sides will need more answers to find a middle ground.

"Give me a call," Chadis said. "There's no secrets here."

Lambda Chi Alpha will look at all their options concerning these neighborhood and city concerns as they come up with a plan of action moving forward.

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