Rolling Back Student Housing Restrictions In Oxford, Ohio
Friday, December 7, 2018
1:15 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. EST
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In the 1970s, the Village of Oxford lacked a full staff to handle the growth of student housing. Student housing demand near Miami University’s campus core was very high. Inappropriate additions and new construction popped up all over the historic urban core of Oxford. As growth to the University’s enrollment continued, Oxford citizens grew impatient as they saw their once quiet neighborhoods torn apart by this influx of transient residents. Having become a charter city in 1971 citizens took advantage of the opportunity to pass its own restrictions without a full analysis of the comprehensive effects. While the restrictions proved effective, there were several work-arounds that property owners used to accomplish the same effect.
The historic “Uptown” on the hill of Oxford began to suffer from the lack of investment. It seemed that commercial investment was focused on the outlying areas with cheaper land prices and more auto-oriented development. So, why not remove parking requirements and the restrictions that limited the 1970s charter restriction of no more than 3 apartments per building? Could there be another way to strategically plan for student housing? Could the demand for student housing actually be a tool for revitalization? A partial relaxation of the 1970s charter restriction was voted to be removed by the citizens in 2008. This was coupled with more sophisticated zoning code requirements and architectural standards. 10 years and nearly 20+ M$ later, the effects seem to be mostly positive. Most historic buildings remain and many students can still walk to class.
Sam Perry, email@example.com