By Talbert Toole
The City of Oxford’s Planning Commission voted five to one during Monday’s meeting to grant a signage variance to Italian restaurant Track 61.
The variance granted the restaurant permission to hang “temporary signage” on the current structure of the property. Although it was noted that it is temporary, Oxford Planning Director Ben Requet said the city does not dictate the duration of time.
Brooke Krizbai, owner of Track 61, appealed the commission after she was forced to remove her signage from the existing structure. According to Section 18.104.22.168 (d) of the code, “existing freestanding business signs, including pole signs, over six (6) feet tall, may remain until a new business locates on the property.”
The restaurant opened in June 2018. Krizbai’s reasoning for wanting additional signage was members of the community not being able to find the restaurant.
“People who are driving Northbound can’t look behind them and see the location of the business,” said Adam Krizbai, Brooke’s husband.
Signage in Oxford has been debated over the past several years for new businesses. Due to ordinances, many new businesses wanting to build signage structures have to build monument signs, such as Oxford Galleria I and II.
However, Dave Tatum, owner of the Midtown Shopping Center told Krizbai he did not want to build a monument structure.
Board member Judy Riddell said Krizbai is the first business in the shopping center to approach the board asking for a variance for signage on the current structure.
Riddell said she believes that monumental signs for some of the older shopping centers in Oxford are simply not a viable option.
“She’s asking for a variance,” Riddell said. “This is what variances are for.”
The board voted to grant Krizbai the variance; however, chairman Brian Hyneman, was the sole member to vote against it.
After the agenda, he said he was determined to get through the “red tape of bureaucracy” and minimalize signage around Oxford, specifically around Oxford’ Historic District (the Square).
Krizbai told Hottytoddy.com she was excited that the board voted in her favor.
“I’m really glad we were able to come to an agreement,” she said. “I’m looking forward to getting that sign up.”
For the time being, a Track 61 sign will be displayed on the Midtown Shopping Center sign.