Downtown Development Authority Meeting August 27, 2019

Minutes – August 27, 2019

MEMBERS: Ms. Martha Molyneux, Vice-Chair; Mr. Jonathan Eady, Mr. Mike Ready, Ms. Danielle Miller, Mr. Ray Wilson, and Mr. Art Vinson. Mr. Brian Barnard was absent.

STAFF: Matthew Pepper, city manager and DDA secretary/treasurer.

GUESTS: Jim Windham & Jeff Wearing, Oxford City Councilmembers; Dave Huber & Dana Payne; Nick & Barbara Cole; Mike McQuaide; Lisa & Anthony Williams.

OPENING: At 7:03 PM, Ms. Molyneux called the meeting to order and welcomed the guests.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Upon motion of Mr. Ready, seconded by Mr. Eady, the minutes for the meeting on July 23, 2019 were approved. The vote was 6 – 0.

DISCUSSION ON TOWN CENTER DEVELOPMENT: Mr. Wearing, the chair of the city’s Yarbrough House Committee (YHC), shared with the DDA what the committee is considering for the Yarbrough House property (107 W. Clark Street). In June, the city hired Carter Watkins Associates to provide plans to renovate the house. In addition, Mr. Wearing explained that the committee is interested in keeping the landscape surrounding the building intact, especially the backyard. Most recently, the committee has explored the option of converting the Yarbrough House into a library. The YHC has discussed the feasibility of a library and potential grant funding with the State Librarian’s office. The committee will meet with Carter Watkins and the Northeast Georgia Regional Commission on Tuesday, September 3rd to discuss the plans in greater detail.

In turn, the DDA shared with the YHC that they have recently hired Historical Concepts (HC) to prepare a site plan for the properties west of Emory Street that comprise the town center development, including the Yarbrough House. Further, the DDA shared that they will meet with HC on Tuesday, September 3rd to begin the process of creating a site plan for the town center development. The DDA expressed their interest in coordinating the efforts of both groups so as not to waste resources, time, and planning. Mr. Pepper confirmed that Carter Watkins and Historical Concepts have been in contact regarding the two projects. It is understood that the two contractors will share information as needed.

The two groups agreed that the town center development can be a gathering place for the city. In addition, they agreed to reconvene once they have each received the plans from their respective contractors.

DISCUSSION ON DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT ALONG SR 81: The DDA reviewed their program list for the town center development. Mr. Pepper will share the list with Historical Concepts prior to the meeting on September 3rd.

OTHER BUSINESS: Mr. Huber, on behalf of his neighbors, expressed concerns about the potential of housing being developed on the DDA-owned property located behind Orna Villa (1008 Emory Street). The DDA explained that they do not have any plans in the near future to move forward with that project. Their current focus is on designing and developing the town center area. They encouraged Mr. Huber and his neighbors to continue sharing their concerns about the housing development with the

Mayor and Council.


ADJOURNMENT: Ms. Molyneux adjourned the meeting at 8:23 PM.

Approved by:


Matthew Pepper, Secretary/Treasurer