Monday, May 29, 2023

Oxford Planning Commission Approved Large Sign in Front of Future OPD

By Alyssa Schnugg

News editor

Rendering by McCarty Architects.

The Oxford Planning Commission approved a variance to allow a large sign in front of the future Oxford Police Department building.

The city plans to renovate the former Oxford Enterprise Center into the new police department.

On Monday, City Planner Ben Requet told the Commission that the city on behalf of OPD was requesting a large free-standing sign that simply says “POLICE” in front of the building in an effort to make the building stand out to be easily recognizable by the community.

“One way to make this building easier to identify as the Police Department is to create an easily recognizable architectural element of the proposed freestanding sign on site, and to ensure that the sign is clearly visible from the road,” Requet said. “The applicant believes the larger sign is needed to assist visitors and guests to easily identify the location of this building from Industrial Park Drive.”

The proposed sign would be located right outside of the building, about 100 feet from the road. The sign would have 8-foot, 6-inch letters that span about 32 feet in length.

The sign was about 2 and a half feet taller than what is allowed by the city’s Land Development Code and exceeds signage area requirements.

The board approved turning the former Enterprise Center into a new police department in 2021 to help the department that is outgrowing its current location on Molly Barr Road. In July 2022, the Board hired McCarty Architects for design work.

The Board of Aldermen approved the schematic design for the department in January.

The Enterprise Center is 37,500 square feet and will be fully renovated to accommodate all functions of the police department.

In July, the estimated cost for the project was about $15 million.