By Alyssa Schnugg
The Oxford Board of Aldermen will be forming a committee to look at the downtown Square and come up with a plan on how it should look 20 years from today.
On Tuesday, Alderman Janice Antonow asked her fellow board members to consider forming the committee so that the Square doesn’t become overrun with bars and a place that only welcomes students in years to come.
“Right now I think we have a good mix but my concern is what will happen in 20 years,” Antonow said.
Antonow said she’s concerned that as the University of Mississippi student population grows, without some kind of control, the Square would become only sports bars and that the townspeople of Oxford would begin avoiding the Square.
“We wouldn’t change anything that exists now,” she said. “This would involve future development.”
Oxford Planning Director Ben Requet said that currently there are 148 businesses on the Square and 31 percent are restaurants/bars. About 30 percent are retail shops. Professional offices make up 19 percent and 8 percent are banks.
The board agreed that any type of limits or controls considered by the future committee or Board of Aldermen should be on square footage and not the number of businesses.
The Board of Aldermen voted to move forward with establishing a committee, made up of two or three aldermen, business owners and planners. Any suggestions or changes made by the committee would go be presented to the public for public comment and input before being voted on by the Board of Aldermen.