Phi Kappa Tau withdraws application for Red & Black building
The fraternity published their application for 540 Baxter Street in April. Since then, residents from Henderson Avenue, which backs up to the building, expressed concerns to the commission that a fraternity would disrupt their historic community.
On Tuesday, the fraternity withdrew their application in anticipation that the commission will vote against the purchase. According to Phi Kappa Tau president Bill Crane, a denial would prevent the chapter from proposing a new property for a year. He feels that securing new housing soon is crucial for the future of the chapter.
“We don't believe our chapter will survive another calendar year without some type of certainty regarding housing,” Crane said. “Forcing cancellation of this purchase contract may also place the R&B in terms of some jeopardy.”
Crane also cited zoning issues. As discussed in the May 16 commission meeting, the building’s zoning stipulates that it may only be used for offices and would require an amendment supported by the commission in order to accommodate a fraternity.
It is likely that a new location that fits the chapter’s zoning needs will also be in close proximity to a neighborhood.
The commission will vote on the withdrawal on June 6.