Zoning a step in right direction

Published 10:09 am Thursday, March 23, 2017

The city of Oxford’s move to rezone 49 acres between North Lamar and Chickasaw Road into Traditional Neighborhood Development classification is a strong step in the right direction.

Developer Mac Monteith has the vision for building a multiuse development that would include retail, office and housing within walking distance of the Oxford Square that would both deepen and extend our now-crowded central business district positively for the future.

Our one small square isn’t enough. We need mixed-use land, with green spaces and sidewalks built in a style becoming of our quaint community that allows Oxford to grow, but grow in a manner that contributes to quality of life.

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There’s no denying that one of Oxford best neighorhoods, including Vivian and Chickasaw roads, will never be the same once this development is completed in the next decade or more. But if done right, property values in those neighborhoods should soar along with more diverse shopping and office spaces within walking distance.

The key, of course, is doing the development right. There will be plenty of opportunity in the months if not years to come as plans are presented to city groups for approval. Citizen input and engagement will be valuable.

But this first step in zoning change is a step in the right direction.