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Developers Jump First Hurdle With PUD Approval for 855-Acre Development

By Alyssa Schnugg
News Editor
alyssa.schnugg@hottytoddy.com

The Planned Unit Development for an 855-acre development off Old Taylor Road was approved by the Lafayette County Planning Commission Monday. Map provided by Lafayette County.

The Lafayette County Planning Commission approved the overlay design Monday for a new development that will sit on 855 acres of land and contain about 1,900 residences over the next 15 years.

Common Ground Urban Design + Planning presented the Planned Unit Development map Monday at a specially-called meeting of the Planning Commission. About 30 members of the community attended the meeting to learn more about the development, named Julep.

The only request considered by the commissioners was to approve the PUD, which only shows where the development is proposed and the different uses of the property that range from commercial, to residential to recreational.

The proposed development is located west of Old Taylor Road, stretching out about 855 acres to South Lamar Boulevard. The development is proposed to built in several phases over about 15 years. Residential options will include flats above commercial businesses of offices, single-family homes, townhouses and large estate homes. There are eight planned “neighborhoods” inside the large development, with each one having a center that will include smaller commercial uses, like a coffee shop or pizza place, according to developer Keith Covington with Common Ground.

The land is owned by Will Galtney and family. Galtney played tennis at the University of Mississippi in the 1970s. Now living in Houston, Texas, he owns a second home in Taylor.

“His ties to Oxford are deep,” Covington said at the meeting.

While most who attended said the design of Julep was attractive and well-thought out, their concerns about the additional traffic being added to Old Taylor Road, South Lamar Boulevard, Pea Ridge Road and other county roads in the area made them less than enthusiastic about the development.

Campbell McCool, developer of Plein Air in Taylor, said he was “all for the project,” however, he said it should not even be considered for approval until Lafayette County commits to four-laning Old Taylor Road.

“Old Taylor Road is at 100 percent capacity,” he said.

Oxford Alderman Janice Antonow was also concerned about the number of vehicles the development would add to the already-busy road. She pointed out that Oxford, Lafayette County and the University of Mississippi just recently had a major transportation study completed that said there are currently about 12,700 cars on Old Taylor Road with that number expected to climb to 14,900 over the next few years.

Engineer for the project Jeff Williams said Julep developers will be building a $4 million connector road from Old Taylor Road to South Lamar Boulevard to help alleviate some of the traffic as well as other connector roads within the development.

“We will be doing what the traffic study suggests and that’s building that road and improving the other roads,” he said.

Another concern is the developers’ plan to use the Taylor Water Association to provide water to the PUD, rather than using Oxford water and sewer services. Williams said it was to save money for the developer by avoiding Oxford’s stricter requirements for developments receiving city services.

Williams said a large, raised water tank will be constructed inside Julep to help provide water for residential use and fire protection. Wastewater will be processed onsite using lagoons.

Before anything is built, during each phase, the developers will have to submit site plans that will have to be approved by the Planning Commission at each step.

Williams said the commissioners have the authority to put in triggers for development, such as limiting the number of residences being built until road improvements are made – similar to conditions placed on the Oxford Commons development by the Oxford Planning Commission.

County Building Official Joel Hollowell said it would be at least a year before developers submitted any type of formal building phase plans.

The Board of Supervisors will vote on the PUD at its July 1 meeting at 5 p.m. at the Lafayette County Chancery Building.


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