Fraternity’s Special Exception Use Tweaked

A slight revision to a special exception use for the Michigan Alpha Chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon – increasing by one the number of beds allowed in its house at 730 Tappan – was granted unanimously by the Ann Arbor planning commission at its April 17, 2012 meeting. The change now allows for 45 beds, including an additional separate bedroom for the required in-house manager.

The commission had granted the original special exception use more than a year ago, at its March 1, 2011 meeting. That had allowed the fraternity to convert a church at the northwest corner of Tappan and Hill into a fraternity house. The building previously had been the home of the Memorial Christian Church, which is now located at 5141 Platt Road. The fraternity didn’t acquire the property until earlier this year, and began interior renovations in March 2012.

The site is zoned R4C (multi-family dwelling district), which allows for fraternities if given special exception use approval. Based on the city’s zoning code, a parcel used for a fraternity must have a minimum of 350 square feet per occupant. According to a planning staff memo, this site’s 22,400-square-foot parcel could support up to 64 occupants, if granted permission by the city.

This brief was filed from the second floor city council chambers at city hall, 301 E. Huron, where the planning commission holds its meetings. A more detailed report will follow: [link]