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Community forums are very useful

The Lafayette Democratic Party recently held listening sessions at five locations in the community, attracting some 200 residents to discuss a wide range of local and national issues.

Since the meetings were open to the public, and meant more as a forum for open and frank discussion, the meetings resulted in some valuable feedback for all.

Among the biggest local concerns voiced at the sessions: zoning, affordable housing and infrastructure growth.

Undoubtedly, these along with education are issues of primary concern to the entire community and will be at the forefront of discussions for years to come. In a fast growth environment like Lafayette County is experiencing, our infrastructure development including green space planning, will be critical.

Affordable housing is also becoming a critical issue for the community. As property values skyrocket and more come into the community able to pay high rents, landlords have little incentive for providing properties under the $1,000 per month threshold, considered affordable.

Zoning will also continue to be an issue, particularly in the county, where development is set to explode in coming years.

Stronger Lafayette County schools mean that developers are now focusing well beyond Oxford’s city limits, meaning that zoning and infrastructure growth becomes much more important.

We hope these discussions, started in recent listening sessions, will continue at the forefront.