- Associated Press - Saturday, May 6, 2017

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) - Preliminary plans have been approved for more houses to be built in a neighborhood near the Mississippi home of Nobel laureate William Faulkner.

The Oxford Eagle reported (https://bit.ly/2qMgai8) eight lots could be developed near Rowan Oak, which is mostly surrounded by woods. The new homes would be on a large, partially wooded lot that would be divided into smaller parcels.

Faulkner bought his Greek Revival home in 1930 and lived there until his death in 1962. The author’s daughter sold the home to the University of Mississippi in 1972, and it is open for tours.

Oxford Alderman Janice Antonow said she has spoken with neighborhood residents who are concerned about the proposed development but are too polite to confront the prominent owners of the land in question.

Tom Howorth and Andy Howorth, who are in the family that owns the land, were at the city board meeting when the plans were discussed Tuesday, and Antonow asked them consider leaving a lot undeveloped near the driveway to Rowan Oak.

“Lot number one is right across from Rowan Oak and has all of those mature trees,” Antonow said.

Realtor Wil Matthews, representing the developer, said the first phase would be three homes, and most large trees would remain.

Matthews said only one tree would need to be removed from lot one; however, several others would have to be removed from a storm water detention system. He said a bigger threat to the cedar trees along one road would be from the city’s requirement to put in a sidewalk

The homes will be about 3,000 square feet and set back from the road. They will be cottage-style, in keeping with the neighborhood.

The homes will require a certificate of appropriateness from the local Historic Preservation Commission.

Aldermen unanimously approved the preliminary plan for the development. However, several said they’d like more discussion about the sidewalk requirement because of potential damage to trees.

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Information from: Oxford Eagle, https://www.oxfordeagle.com

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