At Oxford City Council’s Sept. 19 meeting, councilors looked to continue fighting for affordable housing, and a declaration was made to honor half of September and October.
Council recognizes National Hispanic Latin American Heritage Month
Mayor William Snavely opened the public participation portion of the meeting by formally passing a proclamation to declare Sept. 15 - Oct. 15, 2023, “National Hispanic Latin American Heritage Month.” Present at the meeting to accept the proclamation was local Oxford resident Jacqueline Rioja Velarde, chair of the UniDiversity Program planning committee at Miami University. Velarde promoted the upcoming UniDiversity Festival occurring this Friday in the Uptown parks from 5-9 p.m.
“I hope to welcome everyone to the festival this Friday,” Velarde said.
The festival is celebrating its 20th anniversary of honoring members of the Latin American and Caribbean communities and will include live animal shows, ballet folklorico, music performances, a dance workshop and more.
City council continues to push for affordable housing in Oxford
After extensive discussion on affordable housing at the Sept. 5 meeting, city council members are now looking to finalize projects increasing the number of affordable houses in Oxford, starting with the purchase of 601 W. Chestnut St. The council members unanimously decided to purchase the property to privately develop it.
Council also unanimously approved an ordinance to accept the final plan for the Oxford Cottage Community, opening the door for more affordable homes for the lower income demographic of Oxford. The project has been five years in the making.
“It's good to see something tangible happening,” Mayor Snavely said.
In order to further promote affordable housing in Oxford, city council members, led by councilor David Prytherch, discussed the idea of fighting back against the grip Airbnbs have on Oxford properties.
According to Prytherch, the concerns for the 50 or so Airbnbs within the city of Oxford include “the informal nature of the rental, the nuisance impact on neighbors, the concept of commercial use in neighborhoods and the potential for displacement.”
Prytherch addressed the council with the question of whether or not these Airbnbs were against the city’s codes, and if they confused primary versus accessory usage of a property. In order to “protect neighborhood affordability and stability,” Prytherch wants to tighten restrictions on who can own and operate an Airbnb, and how it would be a factor to consider when someone is looking to purchase a property in Oxford.
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Council will meet again on Tuesday, Oct. 3 at 7:30 p.m. in the Oxford Courthouse.