From The Athens News:
Paszke’s letter asks the residents to cease using their house for what he calls a commercial venue. “It has come to our attention that your residence is being used on a near weekly basis for touring musical groups,” Paszke wrote, adding that this violates the city code’s residential zone permitted uses. He continues that the activity is “clearly in violation of many national fire codes” as well as the city’s business regulations codes.
“Any further operation of these venues located at this site will warrant an immediate response from our department as well as the Athens Police and Fire departments,” Paszke wrote. “Your landlord has been notified as well, whom we have requested to assist us in prohibiting these events.” Paszke said he had the landlord’s support in each of the houses.
The main venue being targeted is Brown Town. Judging from the comments in this article, it seems like Brown Town is an actual positive force in their neighborhood – no drugs, booze, respectful, and even neighboring families with children go to the shows. The same can’t be say for the frat houses in the area…
Official response from Brown Town after the jump.
The accusations raised against the house that I live in, 35 Brown Ave., are largely based around issues of semantics, misunderstandings, and falsifications of what we are actually doing. To title the house that we live in as a “commercial venue” is inaccurate. Our house is not a venue, nor is it commercial. Rather, it is a house, first and foremost, that also happens to have performances inside of it that are free and open to the community. We advertise publicly, however the performances that we are holding are private functions. All people are welcome to attend as long as they are willing to respect the rules of the house and the other guests. Guests are offered the opportunity to tip performers, if they wish, but there is no obligation to do so and no one is granted or denied entry based upon any sum of money. These occasions are void of drugs and alcohol, providing a positive space for expression and exchange of ideas that is free of racism, sexism, and homophobia. The number of individuals in attendance is controlled so as to provide a safe environment that avoids over capacity and potentially hazardous situations. Attendance is generally small and never exceeds capacity. We take great pride in our relationships with our neighbors, ensuring that any performances end before the noise ordinance begins and all guests are respectful of our neighborhood. We value the community that we live in and hope to better it through our actions.
PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS HERE
(please be respectful in your letters, we have to be civilized about this. We can’t afford to be seen as hooligans because they already think we are. Also be sure to include your name and and your address at the bottom of your letter)
Theresa G. Gerren
Mayor Paul Wiehl