UPDATE: Oxford neighbors object 'Animal House' conditions

OXFORD — Tired of noise, trash and other unwholesome sights, homeowners in a subdivision where college students live in rental houses are pushing Oxford aldermen to enforce a law that limits the number of people living in a house who aren’t related.

The Oxford Planning Commission approved a $300 fine for landlords who aren’t enforcing a law that says only three people not related by blood, adoption, marriage or foster care can live together under a shared agreement.

About 15 percent of the houses in the Stone Glen neighborhood are properties rented to college students, residents say. Jo Dale Mistilis said their “Animal House” shenanigans are a blight on the neighborhood and about 15 residents complained to aldermen at a recent meeting.

They’re set to vote on the rule tweak on July 21.

Residents showed aldermen pictures of a trash-strewn driveway that went uncleaned for more than a week and complained of traffic and parking problems, and other unsavory activity.

“A young man used his front yard as an outhouse without walls,” Stone Glen Neighborhood Association President Alice Cooper said.

While she said the conditions aren’t currently overwhelming, Cooper is concerned that over time more of the houses could be converted to rental properties, increasing the problems in the neighborhood and dropping property values.

“My concern is if the current trend continues, then we will become a student neighborhood instead of a family neighborhood,” Cooper said. “Will professionals, families and retirees want to buy or feel they need to move to the county or Water Valley instead?”

The Associated Press

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