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It's not THAT kind of frat house, foes told

A fraternal organization that plans to build a lodge on Lake Marjory in Land O'Lakes promises neighbors the project won't turn into "Animal House."

Despite its name, the Florida Alpha-Lambda Chapter of the Phi Delta Kappa Fraternity isn't a college Greek organization but a group of middle-aged men whose main concern is charitable donations, said Karla Owens, the group's attorney.

The closest parallels to Phi Delta Kappa are the Sertoma or the Rotary, not the VFW, American Legion or Moose Lodge, Owens said.

"The average age of members is 45 to 50. It's not a bunch of young kids who will party," Owens said Tuesday after residents between School Road and U.S. 41 flooded the county with complaints over the lodge.

In its zoning application to the county, Phi Delta Kappa proposes building a 4,900-square-foot club with 24 parking spaces on the shores of Lake Marjory on Hopson Road.

The club initially applied to serve beer and wine at the lodge but later pulled the request.

Owens said the 50 club members would use the lodge no more than twice a week for meetings, including a monthly catered dinner dance with live entertainment. As for accessing Lake Marjory, club members have agreed to launch no more than three boats a day on the water, Owens said.

"They realize obviously this is a residential area, and they have no intention of disrupting it," she said.

Two zoning hearings are scheduled for the lodge request: a Planning Commission meeting at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 5 in Dade City and a County Commission meeting at 9:30 a.m. Dec. 18 in New Port Richey.

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