Members of U of T’s fraternity and sorority houses are crying foul after receiving a financial hit.
As of late January, the houses are subject to a zoning bylaw that classifies most as “rooming houses,” requiring them to obtain a licence and close if too many noise complaints are issued.
Adam Vaughan, Councillor of Ward 20, Trinity-Spadina, spearheaded the changes last June, citing noise complaints about frat houses lining Prince Arthur Avenue, a street otherwise filled with private condos and townhouses.
Vaughan is also moving to prohibit the houses from renting out their property for lucrative movie shoots. He alleges the profits, which can amount to $7,000 per day, are used to fund parties that prompt noise complaints. Options for the ban will be discussed this month.
“The idea isn’t to chase them out of the neighbourhood, the idea isn’t to close them, the idea isn’t to stop them from providing cheap, affordable housing,” Vaughan told the National Post. “The idea is simply to find a way to say to the ones that are holding parties at four o’clock in the morning where they’re peeing on people’s cars and doing all kinds of bizarre stuff in the parks, could you just please get on with your neighbours?”
Fraternities and sororities at U of T aren’t affiliated with the university, and most are located off-campus.
“I can’t speak to the relative legitimacy of complaints that Councillor Vaughan may or may not have received,” said Adam Carson, speaking to the Toronto Sun on behalf of local frat houses.
“I can say though that we don’t feel that licensing and regulation is a necessary step that’s required by the city Any of the issues that the councillor has brought up […] are addressed and covered by the existing municipal code.”
Councillor Karen Stintz has moved to re-evaluate the zoning changes, and study if sufficient consultation took place beforehand.
With files from the Globe and Mail.