• 72°

Reminding residents of code structure

By Robyn Tannehill

Over the past few years, the city of Oxford, through its Police Department and Board of Aldermen, has seen an increase in the number of neighborhood complaints and issues. Many of the issues revolve around concerns over property values, noise and party problems, as well as concerns related to city code violations (i.e. trash, grass, indoor furniture being used outside, vehicles in yards).

Based on increased complaints from concerned neighbors, the city of Oxford hired a code enforcement officer dedicated full time to policing these neighborhood issues.

The Board of Aldermen, along with the code enforcement officer, reviewed and made needed changes to city ordinances related to these neighborhood issues. Johnny Sossaman, the code enforcement officer, has spent hours visiting with students and residents regarding code violations and informing them of ways to avoid further violations.

“As issues are reported, I knock on the door and make the resident aware of the violation,” he said. “I offer them the opportunity to correct the situation before issuing a ticket. Our goal is not to write tickets, but to change behavior. I have found that many of the students and residents are simply unaware of the ordinances in place.”

Many people don’t think about city codes until they find an unwanted citation hanging on their door. In an effort to educate all of our residents living in neighborhoods, please review these simple guidelines that can save you a lot of headaches.

Curbside Bins: Curbside bins and other permanent or semi-permanent structures located at the designated collection area for placement of garbage cans are prohibited.

Trash Cans: All garbage must be bagged and placed in garbage cans not to exceed a 30-gallon capacity.

All garbage cans and recycling containers must be placed at the street no sooner than 5 p.m. the evening before the regular time of collection and all garbage cans and recycling containers must be removed from the front yard no later than midnight on the day of collection.

Parking: Cars, trucks and motorcycles can’t be parked in the yard of any residential area, except on asphalt, concrete or gravel. Trailers, campers, boats and other such equipment must be parked in a carport, enclosed building or behind the nearest portion of a building to the street.

Also, vehicles parked on a roadway must be parked with the right wheels to the curb. Be sure not to block driveways or mailboxes with your parked vehicle.

Yards: Keep your lawn mowed. Weeds and grass higher than 12 inches is not permitted.

Litter: You must not allow trash or litter to accumulate on your property, including your carport. Junked vehicles and appliances cannot be openly stored anywhere on your property.

Outdoor Furniture: Only furniture designed for outdoor use and maintained in good condition can be placed in a front yard, balcony or front porch in any residential district. No living room couches or chairs can be in the yard or on the porch. No furniture can be on the roof.

Residential Occupancy: No more than three unrelated people can share a residence in a neighborhood zoned for single-family.

Noise: Be aware of any loud noise coming from your home including barking dogs and music. It’s unlawful for anyone to create unreasonable noise between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. If you can hear it at the end of your property line, then it’s too loud.

Oxford is known as one of the best small towns in America. Your city leaders are working hard to ensure that we preserve our neighborhoods and continue to thrive.

For information about city codes, contact Sossaman at 662-232-2400 orjsossaman@oxfordpolice.net. You can review the full code of ordinances on the city website oxfordms.net.

Robyn Tannehill is a city alderwoman and can be reached at robyntannehill@gmail.com.