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Rezoning for Oxford Commons lots denied

A request to remove five lots from the Oxford Commons Planned Unit Development and rezone it to the underlying Suburban Corridor and Suburban Center zoning districts was denied Tuesday by the Oxford Board of Aldermen.

The request was made by Lance Forsdick, with Kenlan Development Oxford and Rebel Hospitality, LLC. The PUD calls for those lots to have commercial businesses; however, under Suburban zoning, the developers would be able to have a mixed-use development of commercial and some residential zones.

Forsdick said the original plan was to have all retail, however, three years ago, it was suggested to have a higher density with shared parking, which he said, is a common practice around the country and more recently, with the city with the recent approval of the new city zoning map. Then the city saw a traffic problem along Sisk Avenue and halted development.

“We didn’t just show up and say we want taller buildings,” he told the aldermen.

The request was made originally during the January meeting of the Planning Commission where property owners in Oxford Commons, including developer David Blackburn, opposed the rezoning during the January meeting. City Planner Judy Daniel said the planning department was also opposed to rezoning just five lots inside the PUD and suggested either a rezoning of the entire PUD district, or just the commercial portions, of Oxford Commons to the underlying zoning, or modifying and updated the PUD regulatory structure to correct the mistakes and to provide a better and more rational system for managing the development of residual properties at Oxford Commons.

The issue was tabled in January until February’s commission meeting, where the commission denied recommending approval to the aldermen.

The request was denied by the aldermen due to a lack of motion for approval.