The Edmond City Council approved the commercial site plan for Alpha Gamma Delta sorority by a vote of 4-0 last week. The sorority house is located at 425 N. Jackson.

Councilwoman Elizabeth Waner cast the no vote, citing parking concerns.

“This is to tear down the existing sorority house and build a new 13,994-square-foot building which will provide residences for 27 members plus the house director,” said Jan Fees, city planner.

Four variances are proposed with the site plan. The first variance involves the parking standard of two spaces for residents for sororities and fraternities. This parking standard would bring 56 parking spaces.

The Urban Board concluded a 1.5 parking standard per resident would be more realistic and sufficient. Alpha Gamma Delta requested a maximum of 48 parking spaces, Fees said.

“Additionally, the drives on Thatcher do not meet the driveway separation, so they’re looking for a driveway variance for the drives,” Fees said.

There are also sensitive borders standards related to the facility that is only set 10 feet off the property line when it should be set 25 feet off the property line.

“And then they also need a variance for that 10-foot-perimenter landscape buffer,” Fees said.

The Urban Board approved the variances in June. Waner said it would be a major change for the neighborhood and wonders if any nearby residences were made aware of it. Fees said the city sent out notices.

The applicant mixed and matched the landscaping with streetscaping, Fees said, by doing 10 percent landscaping without the streetscape trees. Trees will be added along Thatcher and Jackson although they are not required. Streetscaping will be added on the north side of the property.

“It looks like in terms of the 10 percent requirement they’re meeting everything plus,” said Charles Lamb, mayor.

Mark Krittenbrink, principal of Krittenbrink Architecture, said the present house is small and lacks public spaces for groups.

“It also doesn’t have any type of storm shelter which is why the basement is there for storm shelter protection,” Krittenbrink said.

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