Oxford Historic Preservation Commission approves fence, though recommendation said no

Published 6:00 pm Monday, September 11, 2023

The Oxford Historic Preservation Commission approved the installation of a mixed-material fence for a property at 1505 Madison Ave., in a decision that stood out as it diverged from staff recommendations. The decision was made during the commission’s Aug 21 meeting.

The staff had recommended against the approval of the fence, citing that it was inconsistent with the Oxford Design Guidelines. According to the guidelines, mixed-material fencing is typically seen in new construction, but is not recommended for historic districts.

Commissioner Luke Heiskell motioned to approve the fence, which Commissioner Jimmy Mogridge seconded. The motion passed with commissioners Luke Heiskell, Jack Garner and Jimmy Mogridge voting for it. Commissioner Diane Scruggs and Commissioner Rachel Malone-West were against it.

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Kyle Stribling, the applicant, argued that the fence would complement the house and its porch. He also mentioned that the fence was primarily for privacy. Stribling’s argument seemed to resonate with some of the commissioners, leading to the approval of the fence.

The decision departed from the usual alignment with staff recommendations and design guidelines. It remains to be seen whether this case will set a precedent for similar cases in the Oxford Historic District.

Note: The original online article contained an error stating Ben Requet voted against the motion. New Commissioner Rachel Malone-West was the other commissioner who voted against the motion. It has been updated to reflect this correction. The Eagle regrets the error.