Planning Commission approves variance for towing company’s security fence

Published 12:18 pm Tuesday, December 14, 2021

The Oxford Planning Commission approved a variance for Chandler Towing, LLC as long as the lot is used as an impound yard.

The towing and roadside assistance company requested a variance for extended fence and barbed wire to finish an enclosure on their expanded lot. There is an existing fence and barb wire already on the property as well as a private and vegetative screen, but Chandler Towing’s owner wants to complete the barrier and prevent the company from coming under any liability.

Chandler Towing has an active contract with the Oxford Police Department and insurance that requires the type of fencing being requested. 

Oxford Chief of Police Jeff McCutchen attached a letter of support to the request stating Chandler Towing is an approved company which requires them to have security wire placed on their fence to protect the property seized by the OPD. The lot solely contains cars from the OPD.

Since the lot contains police evidence, it is frequently visited by officers and investigators with the part looking for evidence involving a case.

“Chandler Towing has been an approved tow company for a number of years and was recently awarded as one of two tow companies approved by the City of Oxford,” McCutchen stated in the letter. “While we do understand why these requirements have been adopted, we believe that Mr. Chandler does meet a unique need.”

According to Chandler Towing’s Larry Chandler, anyone is subject to have an accident in town or to be arrested which leaves a car in their lot for an extended period of time.

Oxford Senior Planner Robert Baxter pointed out that the Planning Commission denied a variance request to use barbed wire atop a previously approved six-foot fence to protect an unfenced car lot in October 2020 for a property across from Chandler Towing on the west side of Rickey D. Britt Sr Boulevard.

The Planning Commission expressed that construction of the previously approved six-foot fence should be tried first, and then if trespassing and theft occurred then barbed wire should be considered. The commission was hesitant to approve the current variance request since the barrier is based on the contract with the OPD and that no incidents have occurred on Chandler Towing’s lot.

However, Chandler wanted to avoid any initial incident completely since the contract is in place and would like to keep Chandler Towing’s record clean.

The commission motioned to approve the variance for the barbed wire with the condition that the wire will be moved once the lot is no longer an impound yard. The six-foot fence was approved by the commission as well with staff conditions that the fence shall be constructed of black vinyl coated chain link and shall include privacy slats.