Oxford Planning Commission approves CVS plan

By Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal

OXFORD – CVS Pharmacy plans to build a 13,255-square-foot store on the current site of Rainbow Cleaners, bounded by Jackson Avenue and Harris Drive.
The store will include both walk-in retail space and a double drive-through for prescription customers.
The Oxford Planning Commission approved the national chain’s plans for the site Thursday, with conditions of an ADA-compliant crosswalk across Jackson Avenue and a change to the traffic light at Jackson Avenue and Heritage Drive so that it would also control entry to and exit from the store’s parking lot.
“It does affect traffic movement at this complicated intersection,” said City Planner Tim Akers.
Commissioner Watt Bishop asked why the building couldn’t be put closer to Jackson Avenue by moving parking to the side to make the building more pedestrian-accessible and to improve its curb appeal.
“The layout is what we typically use,” said Doug Swett, a representative of the development company. “From the consumer viewpoint, the parking spaces closest to the door are the most attractive.”
Bishop, who abstained from the eventual vote, focused on the “typical” aspect of Swett’s response.
“If we expect what everybody else expects, we’ll end up looking like everybody else,” he said.
After the meeting, Bishop expounded that giving prominence to parking spaces ignores the West Jackson recommendations of the American Institute of Architects team currently working on a long-term plan for Oxford.
“We’re taking what is indigenous to Oxford, what we’ve been given, and making it look just like Southaven,” he said. Even discounting aesthetics, he added, “We have to design for something besides cars.”
The CVS design does address one specific major concern of Oxford officials by incorporating underground water retention structures that release stormwater into the city’s drainage system gradually instead of all at once.
Rainbow Cleaners, Oxford’s biggest, plans to move into a new building a couple of blocks away on Jackson Avenue.

Contact Errol Castens at (662) 281-1069 or errol.castens@journalinc.com.