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Parking garage, county office complex get nods from city planning commission

The downtown parking garage site plan was approved unanimously by the Oxford Planning Commission Monday, making the first Square parking garage a step closer to coming to fruition.

The proposal is for a three-story, four-level parking structure on approximately 2.62 acres located behind the Oxford-University Club. The structure will provide about 401 spaces with an additional 90 surface parking spaces around the garage, that will remain free parking.

The cost to park inside the garage is proposed to be 50 cents an hour.

Cars will enter the site from Jefferson Avenue, North Lamar Boulevard and Bowles Wiley Alley. A pedestrian-only access will be available through the public walkway adjacent to Boure’ restaurant.

The site plan also incorporates two bus parking spaces behind the Vieux Carré and Lindsay’s Chevron. The structure will also incorporate public restrooms and a multi-purpose room. A detailed landscaping plan that includes a green space to the south of the structure is included in the submission. The engineers for the garage met with the Pathways Commission to discuss pedestrian and bicycle connectivity to the garage. Bicycle parking will be provided on the site.

The commission also approved a 1-foot, 4-inch height variance for the garage.

County Complex OK

The Planning Commission also approved the site plan for the building phase for the development that will be built on 24 acres of a 53-acre site off County Road 406.

The complex will contain city and county courts and offices for various local and state agencies including the Department of Human Services and the Mississippi Highway Patrol. There are also plans for an outdoor amphitheater and a large multipurpose arena.

Since the county is asking the city to supply sewer services, the complex needed approval from the city Planning Commission and Board of Aldermen. Water will be provided by East Oxford Water Association.

Some of the commissioners expressed some concerns about the design plans for the front portion being so oriented to parking lots; however, they voted unanimously to approve the site plan.