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New Christ Presbyterian Church approved by City

Christ Presbyterian Church will soon have a new home, located north of Sisk Avenue and west of Pin Oak Drive, in the Oxford Commons housing development.

The Oxford Planning Commission approved a request from Christ Presbyterian Church to allow religious assembly use in a suburban residential district during Monday night’s meeting. The planning commission also approved a request for a variance to construct the church further back in the parking lot than the maximum 50 feet for a suburban residential zone.

The church will be a 30,0000 square-foot, two-story building with a painted brick exterior. It will have a capacity of no more than 600 people.

According to city planner Gray Parker, the public works department determined a traffic impact study was not necessary under the proposed site plan. However, the property will require two detention ponds.

According to assistant city engineer Reanna Mayoral, the church is a good fit within the development, in terms of its intended use.

“The church is probably one of the only things that could conceivably be built in Oxford Commons. About three years ago, the church asked me about traffic, when Oxford Commons traffic was really ramping up,” Mayoral said. “At that time, we made an assessment that, because of their operating hours and based on their use – they were not going to be operating a daycare, they were not going to have late hours – that they would not impact traffic.”

Commissioners Judy Riddell and Brian Hyneman asked about the possibility of the church offering weekday childcare.

Mayoral responded that if the church wanted to open a daycare facility for “more than 15 kids,” they would be required to request a change of use from the city.

Christ Presbyterian is currently located at 1720 University Ave. According to the church’s website, $1.5 million has been raised for the new building project so far, but a total of $2,675,000 is needed to complete the project. The church building is scheduled to be completed by September 2019.

“This is a big step for us as we have been in Oxford for about 20 years,” James Harper, chair of the church’s building and design team, said. “We are very appreciative of the site plan approval and thankful for our design and engineering professionals for all of their hard work and help in getting us to this point.  We look forward to constructing a new church home in order to continue to share the hope of Christ.”