City of Oxford discusses preliminary plans


OXFORD – Oxford City Council met Tuesday, Aug. 3, for their first meeting of the new month.

The meeting opened with Oxford’s finance department receiving the Auditor of State Award with Distinction. To receive this award the finance department performed what the the Auditor of State calls a “clean” audit report, the criteria for which is not commonly met.

Alan Kyger discussed the liquor license that Yager Stadium is seeking in order to sell beer within the parameters of the stadium – this will not change the current standards for tailgating, the only change this will make is that now those of legal age can purchase beer in general areas of the stadium.

Butler County Auditor David Brown took the podium during the public comments section. He joked that it was “a big night for auditors.” He commented that since the last meeting he attended there have been no additional credit card skimmers found in Butler County, making it two months skimmer free.

Council approved several resolutions during the course of the meeting:

•The first two resolutions regarded the annexation of property located on Millville Oxford Rd. to the City of Oxford, necessary for the improvement project on U.S. 27 South. The first of these resolutions simply stated the acceptance of annexation to a property in Oxford Township to the city proper. The second of these resolutions indicated the services Oxford would lend to this new part of the city – this property will receive the same services the city proper receives.

•The next resolution regarded a yearly issue in Oxford: delinquent charges placed on those who did not follow city standards for lawn and vegetation care. Those who did not mow their lawns had it mowed for them using city funds, and now the city has to collect those funds through delinquent charges placed on property taxes.

•The last resolution was concerning OPD’s reentry into Butler County Sheriff’s Drug Task force. The city participated until 2012 when they had to pull out due to staffing problems, but now they have the resources to participate. Oxford has a challenging history with drug abuse and deaths, as it is the nationwide issue, and the entry of this task force is thought to be the next stop in OPD’S “efforts to stop drug abuse,” Chief John Jones said.

There were first readings of fourt ordinances, all concerning the same issue.

• An ordinance repealing Oxford’s ordinance entitled General Business District and adopting two new ordinances entitled General Business District and Neighborhood Business District.

Oxford currently has only one business district, while most cities have several. The Neighborhood District is intended to be a different type of business district that can support a dense neighborhood.

• An ordinance repealing the current ordinance entitled Establishment of Zoning Districts and creating one of the same name. This is zoning districts for the new business districts.

• An ordinance repealing Oxford’s ordinance entitled conditional uses and adopting one of the same name. This ordinance lists the conditions of the Neighborhood district, which includes a size limitation.

• An ordinance repealing Oxford’s current ordinance regarding signs and adopting a new one. These are signs for the new businesses and stating the limitations on them.

There were three second readings of ordinances:

• A second reading of the ordinance approving The Planning Commission’s recommendation of preliminary plan approval of a development between Olde Farm Rd. and Country Club Drive. At the previous meeting there had been uproar regarding this ordinance and the change it would create. The public once again spoke on their concerns regarding this issue: It was said that Olde Farm Rd. drains into a wet area, creating a drainage problem. Some were worried it would change the culture of the neighborhood. Some were concerned additional housing would create a traffic problem. The small lot sizes of the new development would look out of place next to the large lot sizes of the current developments. Some said might ruin the curb appeal.

Council addressed their own issues:

•Edna Southard requested an inventory of the natural vegetation on the existing property, but after talking through the proposal the rest of the council found this proposition to be impossible at this moment in the planning.

A second reading passed and the issue will now move past preliminary planning.

•Several meetings ago the ordinance regarding taxicabs was tabled due to some of the wording regarding who was prohibited in driving cabs. The city manager and Police Chief Jones met and fixed the vague language to say “felony or criminal record,” and the ordinance finally passed.

•The last ordinance was to pass the amending of the supplemental budget for the fiscal year 2016.

The next city council meeting will be at Tuesday, Aug. 16, at 7:30, in Oxford’s Courthouse.

By Kelsey Kimbler

For The Register-Herald

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