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HPC approves fence plans for historic Shaw property

The historic Shaw property may soon have a new, spiffy, red brick fence around the property where it sits.

On Friday, the Oxford Historic Preservation Commission approved the Certificate of Appropriateness for a 4-foot retaining wall around Shaw Place, which is part of the development going on around the old Shaw house that is also being restored by the developers.

Architect Michael Thompson, representing Shaw Properties, LLC, presented the plans for the fence to the commission. He asked for approval to use wrought iron on top of the brick fence. Because of the hilly nature of the property, the fence has to be stepped up to reach 4 feet in some area.

The developer will be seeking a variance request from the Oxford Park Commission to use 2 feet pilasters in areas where the fence needs to be lifted up to retain the same height.

The developers will also be adding a sidewalk outside of the wall along East Jackson Avenue.

Commissioner Kathy Allen asked how Thompson was planning to handle storm waters collecting behind the wall.

“The drainage will be handled behind the wall,” he answered.

Developer Sid Brian purchased the historic 1800’s home and the five acres surrounding it about three years ago. He agreed to restore the Shaw house and divided the property up into a four-lot subdivision with the first lot being the Shaw house. The second lot, known as Kennedy Cove, will consist of four custom homes. Shaw Place will consist of six custom homes. The last lot will have one single-family home on 1.5 acres of property.

Thompson said the developers want the wall to be beautiful and graceful while retaining the curvy nature of the property.

“It’s a retaining wall,” he said. “But we will make it look decorative.”

Commissioner John Abernathy commended Thompson on meeting the design guidelines for property within the historic district and Commissioner Camp Best thanked him for putting in a sidewalk.

“That’s really great,” he said. “People walking on that road have to crisscross across the road to find a safe spot to walk.”

The commission approved the COA request for the retaining fence and decorative wrought iron top.