Meaghan McAvoy

Students and residents could have more housing options in Oxford, if city councils approves a plan to build between South Poplar Street and Campus Avenue.

An ordinance proposing the construction of Campus Commons underwent its first reading by the Oxford City Council Tuesday evening.

The plan stipulates that the land, which consists of 5.45 unused acres, be divided into 22 lots, with 20 duplexes and two single-family homes. According to Michael Stegman, attorney with Kohnen and Patton, LLP in Cincinnati who helped present the plan to council, the duplexes and single-family homes will be a minimum of 75,000 square feet and 25,000 square feet, respectively.

According to Community Development Director Jung-Han Chen, if the ordinance passes council, Campus Commons will begin construction as long as the subdivision meets the criteria of Oxford’s engineering requirements.

The project, which is compliant with Oxford zoning codes, passed a third presentation to the planning commission with a vote of 7-0 Oct. 18.

According to Chen, the commission requested the creation of a paved, pedestrian walking path from the existing Campus Courts westward to Poplar Street. The commission also requested the final tree plan for the subdivision to be in accordance with Oxford’s Street Tree Plan.

Chen said construction would be divided into three phases, with each phases taking approximately two years.

According to Stegman, the land is currently owned by the Paul Baer Family Trust.

Chen said planning commission also requested that a new sewer line be installed during the Phase One of construction. The sewer line, Chen said, would replace the old 12-inch line which has experienced overflows in the past and is badly in need of replacement.

Vice Mayor Ken Bogard said he liked how the applicant was “helping out the neighborhood,” in this regard.

A road connecting Central Avenue and Poplar Street would be constructed by Phase Two.

Stegman said Campus Commons is willing to construct a road connection between Poplar Street and Central Avenue.

“At that point, Poplar is already constructed, and so this will take Poplar all the way up to Spring Street,” Stegman said.

Chen said Rose Avenue would be extended to Campus Avenue and Bern Avenue, a stub street off of Campus Avenue, would be extended to Poplar Street. Wooster Street would also be extended to end a cul-de-sac.

According to Stegman, the street improvements will help to reestablish the traditional grid system of the Mile Square, as well as help to create a better connectivity in the streets and aid vehicular traffic flow.

“So any of the new traffic created by these dwellings units has a number of ways to go,” Stegman said.

According to city councilor Katie Currie, the plan is consistent with Oxford’s Comprehensive Plan, particularly in that it promotes development within the Mile Square, rather than adding to suburban sprawl.

Stegman said the 1998 Comprehensive Plan stipulates development in the Mile Square to complete missing road segments.

“Your proposed 2008 update (of the Comprehensive Plan) retains that same strategy,” Stegman said.

Chen said he likes the proposal for the future subdivision.

“I think that (the plan) has a lot of the issues that were addressed in the Comprehensive Plan,” he said. “It provides benefits for the city as well as its structure.”

Councilor Richard Keebler said the Campus Common’s plan was a “win-win” for Oxford because of all the benefits that the subdivision would bring to the community, even those living outside the Common’s vicinity.

Additional details and maps concerning the Campus Commons subdivision can be found at cityofoxford.org. The project will be discussed again at the next Oxford City Council meeting Nov. 18.

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