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Supervisors to vote on zoning tomorrow

OXFORD, Miss.- The Lafayette County Board of Supervisors is set to hold a final public hearing and vote on new zoning ordinances at their meeting tomorrow.

The meeting is set for Tuesday morning at 8 a.m. in the Chancery Building, weather permitting. Board president Jeff Busby says the goal of the public hearing and subsequent vote is to keep the public informed and keep Lafayette County secure.

“If all goes well, we will approve and implement county zoning after [this] meeting,” he said. “It’s more of a protection standpoint. We want to limit rules and regulations in the county as much as we can.”

The ordinance will divide the county into zoning groups, with the most restrictions falling closest to Oxford city limits and fewer restrictions in rural areas of the county. The districts would include: Agricultural, Rural Community Preservation District, Residential Estate, Residential Low-, Medium- and High-Density districts, Planned Unit Developments for mixed-use developments, Commercial Low, Medium and High districts, Industrial – light and heavy districts and Special Use Districts.

One of the most important parts of the ordinance is that all proposed commercial uses will have to come before the planning commission for approval.  

The public hearing is the last of many on the issue, something Busby says is not customary.

“We’ve gone all over trying to explain what it is, and let the public ask questions,” he said. “That’s what we tried to do instead of having a just a hearing or two in our meeting room and nothing more. We wanted the public to be educated about what we’re trying to do.”

According to the ordinance, its purpose is to “preserve and promote the public health, safety, morals and general welfare of the citizens of Lafayette County and of the public generally through the regulation of: the location, height, number of stories of buildings and other structures; the density and distribution of population, size of yards and other open spaces; and the use of buildings, structures, and land for commercial, industrial, residential and other purposes.”

Regardless if the meeting goes as planned or is rescheduled due to weather, if the zoning ordinance is passed in the next meeting, it will be the first time zoning of any kind will be implemented in Lafayette County.

The board of supervisors is expected to announce potential rescheduling of the meeting by 1 p.m. today.