OXFORD – The first homes in one of Oxford’s most visible new developments and two recreational businesses are on the horizon.
Planning Commission members on Monday gave preliminary approval for two single-family neighborhoods in Oxford Commons, a 500-acre-plus Planned Unit Development at Highway 7 and Sisk Avenue.
“This is the first residential development in the Oxford Commons PUD,” said Paul Koshenina of Elliott & Britt Engineering. He added that a nearby retail area would eventually host a neighborhood grocery store, a pedestrian-friendly amenity often advocated by Commissioners John Bradley and Watt Bishop.
Developer David Blackburn assured commissioners of “good progress” on a frontage road that will connect to Highway 30 for a second entry to Oxford Commons.
Developer Lance Forsdick and Malco were approved for a 36,000-square-foot entertainment center and bowling alley and a miniature golf course addition to an existing Oxford Commons theater complex.
Commissioners voted 3-2, with two others abstaining, to approve The Forum, which is a 42,000-square-foot recreational venue near Highway 6 West with bowling alley, sports bar, laser tag, miniature golf and restaurants.
Bishop objected to generating more traffic for Oxford’s west gateway.
“We need to have a plan to deal with this area,” he said. “It’s too critical to the city to keep putting red lights and Band-Aids on it. No one looks at the big picture.”
City Attorney Paul Watson said one of the city’s few options would be to ban all new development along the corridor.
“We don’t control the big picture,” he said. “MDOT controls Highway 6.”