Hyatt hotel developer receives second denial for Oxford Commons

Published 10:45 am Wednesday, December 21, 2016

If Thomas Crowson wants to build a Hyatt Hotel on two pieces of property he owns inside Oxford Commons, it’s going to take a judge’s ruling to get it done.

The Oxford Board of Aldermen denied Crowson’s request to amend a commercial subdivision plan and combine two large lots located on the south side of Sisk Avenue. The Oxford Planning Commission denied the request earlier this month.

In 2006, a subdivision plat intended for a range of commercial uses was approved by the city of Oxford inside the Oxford Commons development, that consisted of seven lots of various sizes on 18 acres of land. In 2007, the plat was amended to nine lots.

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Crowson purchased two lots and filed a request to combining the two lots into one larger lot to build a Hyatt hotel. There are already two hotels in Oxford Commons with a third under construction.

However, Mississippi law states that any change to the platted commercial subdivision requires all property owners who are adversely affected or directly interested be notified of the proposed change. If there is an objection, however, the aldermen could not approve the change.

Attorneys with offices directly across the street from Crowson’s property filed objections to the development, claiming the large hotel would not only increase traffic along the already busy Sisk Avenue but would block their views from their offices, as well as block others from viewing their offices from Sisk Avenue.

Alderman John Morgan said that while proving who may be adversely affected by combining the two lots might be hard, the attorneys obviously were interested parties.

The request was denied unanimously by the aldermen.

Headed to court?

Crowson still has options.

According to City Attorney Pope Mallette, he can seek a variance from the Oxford Planning Commission to remove the side setbacks to allow the hotel to cross the properties without amending the plat or take the case to the Lafayette County Chancery Court.

“I think that’s where this is headed,” said Mayor Pat Patterson.