At the City Council meeting on April 2, variances were approved that will allow a Vermillion couple turn the old Sigma Nu fraternity into a Bed and Breakfast.
The variances included proposals to add a garage onto the house as well as adding an extra bedroom.
Kris O’ Connor from Dakota Realty said she has had the house listed for three years.
“It is hard to sell a building like this to a family since it has so many bedrooms, yet doesn’t have a garage,” O’ Connor said.
In 2008, the city developed a new zoning ordinance that stated fraternity and sorority houses were not permitted in the R1 residential district. However, since the Sigma Nu house already existed, it was grandfathered in and was able to stay.
After the Sigma Nu chapter closed down in 2013, the property located at 212 E. Main Street could no longer be used as a sorority or fraternity. With 20 bedrooms, it is difficult to sell as a home.
Carson and Courtney Merkwan, a couple from Vermillion, hope to purchase the building to become a Bed and Breakfast.
Courtney Merkwan’s grandparents used to own The Coyote Motel, so they wanted to carry on the tradition.
“My grandparent Francis and Raymond Moore used to own The Coyote Motel for years until my grandmother became too old to run it any longer, so she sold it to McDonald’s,” Courtney said.
The couple, including their three children, plan to also live in the Bed and Breakfast.
“They are very excited… they keep practicing taking guests to their room,” Carson said.
The family doesn’t have an official name yet, but they are thinking about calling it “The Coyote Bed and Breakfast.”
“With hope to have this place with the history of the Coyote Motel at heart,” Courtney said.
At the meeting, the council also proclaimed the week of April 9-15 Public Transit Week and the week of April 8-14 National Library Week.