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Plat approval for Pea Ridge subdivision comes with a twist

When the Oxford Planning Commission approved an amended preliminary plat for the Pea Ridge subdivision, it wasn’t because there was overwhelming support for the eight-lot development, but rather to make sure on-going erosion problems are put to an end.

In July 2017, the commission approved the preliminary plat for a six-lot subdivision on Pea Ridge Road, near the South Oaks development. However, the developers wanted to change the site and add two new lots. The new plan was presented to the commission Monday night.

However, since the clearing of the site, residents of South Oaks have made formal complaints about the mud and erosion coming off the site, and in some cases, damaging lawns and landscaping.

Those complaints were investigated by Oxford’s Code Enforcement and a stop-work order was issued against the contractor, D. Carroll Construction. Code Enforcement Officer Jeff Edge said the contractor told him the company would repair the damaged property and make necessary improvements to the erosion control measures; however, that had not yet been done as of Monday.

Senior Planner Ben Requet said the contractor has the required erosion control measure in place but did not maintain them and the silt fences failed.

Commissioner John Bradley questioned how a developer would expect the commission to approve a new preliminary plat when they haven’t complied with the mandatory erosion control measures.

This should be tabled and then they can come back if the problem is cured,” Bradley said. “If adequate measures have been installed to prevent a reoccurrence then we can go from there.”

A motion was made and seconded to table the request to approve the preliminary plat until the contractor corrected the erosion issues and the stop-work order was rescinded.

During the discussion, Assistant Engineer Reanna Mayoral mentioned that the commission could put a condition on the approval of the new plat that would require the developer to build all stormwater retention structures before doing anything else to the site.

Usually, the development is built and the retention pond is done last,” she said. “But you can make it a condition of approval that the stormwater retention is put in first.”

Since the developer already has approval for the six-lot subdivision, once the stop work order is removed, they could withdraw their request to increase the number of lots and continue with construction.

Commissioner J.R. Rigby pointed out that if the commission approved the preliminary site plan, with the added condition, the developer would have to build the retention pond before any more construction occurred, which should help with any erosion and run-off issues.

A second motion was made to approve the preliminary plan with the added condition and approved unanimously by the commission.