By Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – Tourism officials want the Board of Aldermen to allow service of alcohol at Cedar Oaks to boost use and revenues.
However, neighbors of the historic home said the change would disturb their quiet neighborhood.
The city took over the historic house’s ownership recently after maintenance needs overwhelmed the resources of the women’s clubs that collectively owned it and still oversee it.
Without the ability to have licensed caterers serve alcohol at the house, many weddings, dinners and holiday gatherings will go elsewhere, said Janice Miller, acting president of Oxford-Lafayette Historic Homes.
“The lost revenue would impact our ability to maintain the home,” she said.
“What we’re proposing is exactly the same thing as at L.Q.C. Lamar House,” said Hollis Green of the Oxford Conference Center. “We’re talking low-key social functions – primarily weddings. We’re not going to allow rowdiness at Cedar Oaks mansion.”
Several neighbors said parking is already severely limited in the residential neighborhood around Cedar Oaks, and receptions create traffic bottlenecks.
“This is the quintessential Pandora’s Box – you open it today, and you’re not going to close it,” said one neighbor.
Julie Mikell said she feared permitting alcohol again would attract both more and rowdier events to the historic home.
Tuesday’s discussion constituted a public hearing on the matter. Aldermen will likely vote on the matter at their Oct. 5 meeting.
Contact Errol Castens at (662) 281-1069 or firstname.lastname@example.org.