The Gorham Town Council will hold a public hearing Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Municipal Council Chamber to discuss the proposed ban on new off-campus fraternity and sorority housing, as well as to discuss an additional proposal that would regulate existing off-campus Greek housing.
According to the agenda for the town council meeting, the proposal to ban new fraternity houses would amend the town’s Land Use and Development Code by “eliminating ‘fraternity house’ as a permitted use or as a use by special exception.”
The ordinance, which the Gorham Planning Board recommended against adopting in their Sept. 13 meeting, comes after years of complaints from neighbors of the fraternity house’s noise level and behavior of members.
The proposal to regulate existing Greek housing would require fraternities and sororities to acquire a license from the town. Approval of the license would be contingent on the specific fraternity or sorority having passed its most recent Life Safety Code Fire Inspection, in addition to paying all property taxes.
The license could be revoked by the town if the property records more than ten responses by Gorham Police, or if it fails to come to comply with the town’s Fire Safety Code. Additionally, the proposal would regulate events held at fraternity and sorority houses, and lays out a set of penalties should the fraternity violate the ordinance.
The town of Gorham seized one fraternity house, Phi Kappa Sigma at 27 Preble St., over the summer because of failure to pay back taxes. Sigma Nu at 24 School St. and Delta Chi at 23 Preble St. in Gorham are the two fraternity houses left.
None of the three sororities at USM have houses.