City council designates Acorn Circle a residential parking permit zone


Oxford Police Chief John Jones (center) explains the workings of the residential parking permit zone on Acorn Circle at City Council’s Jan. 5 virtual meeting.

By Kylie Pursifull

Things have gotten a little more exclusive for the 16 homes on Acorn Circle. If you want to park on the double cul-de-sac off Arrowhead Drive, you will now need to buy a parking permit.

On Tuesday night, Jan. 5, Oxford City Council unanimously adopted a resolution to designate Acorn as a residential parking permit (RPP) zone. According to Oxford Police Chief John Jones, whose department did a traffic study on the street, residents will be able to buy permits for themselves and their guests to park along Acorn’s curbs. Any non-permitted car parked there risks getting a ticket.

The Acorn residents asked the city for the traffic study and RPP, because they felt too many cars from an apartment complex on Arrowhead were parking on Acorn, Jones said. 

“Residents of Acorn Circle petitioned the city to do the residential permitted parking area after we had several parking complaints of people, non-residents parking on their street making it hard and difficult for them to get the mail and things like that,” said Jones. “We have worked with them for several months. Fifty-six percent of Acorn Circle residents requested 24/7 residential permitted parking.”

The chief said that on average, 43.37% of the spaces on Acorn were occupied, although at times that number climbed to 86 percent.  

“These peak times happen on Fridays and Saturdays, basically at the weekends,” Jones said. “This was for a few weeks in October we did this. Keep in mind this was done during the pandemic when a lot of students were remote.”

Acorn Circle is a two cul-de-sac street of single family houses at the dead-end of Arrowhead Drive, which runs south off of Chestnut Street. Arrowhead and Chestnut are the site of the Verge Apartments, a large complex that is mostly student occupied. 

Signs will soon be posted indicating that Acorn is not a street for public parking, rather you have to have a permit to park there. Residents then, if they want to park on the street, will have to buy a $15 annual pass, which also will come with one guest pass, Jones said. He noted that the whole project was resident driven. 

Oxford resident Sandra Mohr asked city council why the developers of the apartment complex were not required to include adequate parking in their projects. 

“When they built those apartments, did they not allow for any parking, enough parking for the residents who live in the apartments?” asked Mohr. “So, the people that live there and the people who come to visit them don’t have enough parking that they have to go all the way down and take up all the parking for the year-long residents?”

City Council Member David Prytherch addressed this question. 

“Our codes do require a certain of off-street parking per land uses but in redevelopment, we don’t assume apartment complexes absorb every single guest and this is an urban context so people will park on the street,” said Prytherch. “I think that is a healthier way than having parking lots everywhere.”

Prytherch said that there is additional parking available at Chestnut Field down the street from Arrowhead, that should be able to absorb overflow cars from the Verge