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Aldermen Talk PediCabs and Rezoning

oxford charmThe Board of Aldermen last night unanimously approved rezoning the land between South Lamar and Highway 7 from single-family residential to shopping center.
The nearly 25 acres of land is located on the west side of Highway 7 East and the rezoning does come with conditions. There will be only one curb cut from Highway 7 South and the Planning Commission must approve architectural design before a site plan is approved.
Also, building facades and sign materials must be complementary and should be composed of reasonably attractive materials. The city will discourage builders from using cheaper materials, such as metal siding or roofing, artificial stone or painted concrete block.
One shopping center sign shall be allowed along the right-of-way and will be no taller than 20 feet.
Better Lighting and Signage for PediCabs
The board completed the first reading of a PediCab ordinance that would require a reflector triangle and red light on the rear of each vehicle that is visible 500 feet behind each vehicle.
According to Alderman Robyn Tannehill, some current vehicles appear to have a light that’s too small and has little more visibility than the light emitted from a cell phone.
The board plans to have a second reading and take public comments at the next meeting, which is an allowable procedure, according to city attorney Pope Mallette. The requirements would go into effect immediately and would be strictly enforced.
The City Has an Angle on a Third Double-Decker Bus
It isn’t easy finding a Leyland Double-Decker bus produced in the same era as Oxford’s two flagship vehicles, but the city has done it. Before entertaining the thought of making such a big purchase, the city wants to get a gander at it.
With that in mind, the mayor proposed approving travel funds, which will not exceed $5,000, for two city representatives to travel to California to inspect the vehicle. The board unanimously approved the travel funds.
According to the mayor, the asking price for the bus is in the neighborhood of $59,000. The city may want to consider using a mix of donor funding and city funds for such a purchase, according to Mallette.
City Follows State on Historic Preservation Appeals
The city unanimously approved new language that allows appeals of historic preservation cases by any landowner who can show she is wronged by a decision. The landowner must show a legitimate reason for appealing a decision, one that goes beyond standing in the way of historic preservation or development.
In the previous board meeting, several area attorneys suggested the right to appeal could be restricted to landowners living in the affected historic district. The city chose to use broader language that includes more area citizens, in keeping with the state statute.
The lack of city-level appeals language was problematic during the Shaw House debacle, when developers suggested that only the applicant had a right to appeal demolition decisions. In those discussions, Sid Brian Development suggested that right did not extend to the property’s neighbors.
Gretchen Stone is HottyToddy.com associate editor. Gretchen can be contacted about this story at Gretchen.Stone@HottyToddy.com

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