Noisy neighbors now a nuisance for Greeks

Daily Sundial

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New morning and afternoon noise and traffic caused by the construction of two condominium complexes on Halsted Street between Zelzah and White Oak avenues have caused concerns for some sorority and fraternity house residents.

“Our house starts shaking from the bulldozers tearing up the ground,” said Robert Press, junior history major and vice president and house manager of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. Lambda Chi and three other Greek houses line Halsted Street.

Chatsworth-based Raider Planning and Construction is building the condo complexes.

According to Laura Pecoraro, the company’s office manager, Raider Planning and Construction is building 15 condo units on each side of Halsted Street, producing a total of eight buildings.

The construction crew recently worked on the underground utilities for the condominiums. Though the early phases of construction started this summer, there is no specified date for when the condominiums will be completed, Pecoraro said.

When the fall semester began, noise from the construction site increased, Press said.

“The bulldozing starts at 7 a.m. and goes on until about 4 p.m., and it’s not just one bulldozer,” Press said.

Rachel Wareham, senior business finance major and president of Alpha Xi Delta, said construction has been on and off for several months.

“The jackhammers can be heard all day long,” Wareham said. “You come home to study and you can’t because of the noise.”

Traffic has also been a concern since construction started, she said, adding that Halsted Street was often turned into a one-lane street because of the bulldozers.

The traffic on Halsted Street was bad because of parents dropping off and picking up their children at Northridge Academic High School on Zelzah Avenue near Halsted Street, Wareham said.

This has increased traffic delays, she said.

Wareham said she is also concerned about how parking will be affected when people begin to move into the condominiums, which are called Halsted Homes One and Halsted Homes Two for sales purposes.

“Each unit will have parking within the premises of the buildings,” Pecoraro said.

Wareham said she was hoping Halsted Street would be a Greek row, with fraternity and sorority houses lining the street, like other college campuses have done.

Some say the positives of such a development, including a consolidated area for local police patrols and the reduction of automobile traffic, outweigh possible negative consequences, which include community noise concerns and zoning and property acquisition.

“In that space, they could’ve built two more houses,” she said. “Who’s going to want to live so close to fraternity and sorority houses anyway?”

The AXD house on Halsted Street has existed since the 1960s, and is the only house built specifically for a sorority.

Wareham said members of her sorority have heard that at some point a large sum of money was offered for the land that their house occupies, but she added that there is no way they would give it up.

“(The amount offered) may sound like a lot of money, but compared to the money a condo goes for, it’s really not enough,” Wareham said.

Wareham also said the construction site workers have crossed onto her sorority house’s property. She also said she has spoken to the workers about her housemates’ concerns regarding the noise and machines being used so close to their cars.

“They’re rude about it,” Wareham said. “It is frustrating to everyone that it’s so difficult to communicate what we’re feeling.”

Press said he feels similarly. As the house manager, he hears all the complaints from the housemates, but believes he cannot talk to anyone about making any changes.

“By the time we file a complaint and go through all the motions, it’ll be (too) late,” Press said. “They’ll be done with the building.”

According to Pecoraro, there have been no complaints, at least from the neighborhood buildings’ owners.

“We’re good with the owners of the buildings in the neighborhood,” Pecoraro said.

Ariana Rodriguez can be reached at ariana.rodriguez@csun.edu.