Updating the Borough Codes that Govern Land Development and Uses

Oxford's Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance and Zoning Ordinance
Zoning Ordinance Map

The Borough’s Code of Ordinances (“codes”) are the local laws that provide the framework for how we live together in our community. The Borough’s elected officials pass codes to make it easier to implement and support an overall vision for Oxford. The Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance (SALDO) and Zoning Ordinance (ZO) help us coordinate land uses and infrastructure to: manage growth; preserve our natural and historic resources; provide safe, multimodal access and circulation; and ensure Oxford remains an affordable community across income levels.

    What is a Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance?
    The Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance (SALDO) provides basic standards for how land must be developed, or built out, in the Borough, including what public or private improvements may be required. Will a new neighborhood of houses be required to have sidewalks? What kind of street lighting? What needs to be included in the land development plans to ensure stormwater run-off doesn't flood adjacent properties? The Borough's SALDO helps prevent poor planning and protects the common good.

    What is a Zoning Ordinance?
    The Zoning Ordinance (ZO) controls the way property within specific areas of the Borough can be used. Can a specific parcel be used for housing, business, or industrial uses? What kind of businesses can open in what parts of the Borough? Is a specific block limited to single family homes or can someone build an apartment complex there? Zoning and setting design standards are some of the most effective tools available to help implement a vision for our community.

    Basically, the Zoning Ordinance defines what land uses are allowed in specific locations, while the SALDO defines how these uses may be built or developed.

    Ensuring Oxford's SALDO and ZO are current and consistent with the community's vision (as expressed through development of the Borough's new Comprehensive Plan) are especially important as our area of Chester County continues to grow. Ordinances that are out of date or do not line up with the community's needs will prevent us from moving forward, and may limit our ability to influence and shape the Borough’s destiny. Out of date ordinances discourage investment and make it harder to: manage growth; meet community needs; and bring new businesses to the Borough.

    Updating the Borough's Subdivision and Land Development and Zoning Ordinances         
    Through a $100,000 grant from the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission's Transportation and Community Development Initiative (TCDI) program, we are completing a comprehensive update to the Borough’s Subdivision and Land Development and Zoning Ordinances. TCDI focuses on linking land use and transportation planning by: improving the overall character and quality of life; enhancing the existing transportation infrastructure capacity; promoting and encouraging the use of transit, bike, and pedestrian transportation modes; building capacity in older suburbs and neighborhoods; reinforcing and implementing improvements in designated Centers; and protecting the environment.

    Between February of 2023 and June of 2024, we will be working with Bergmann and FHI Studio to prepare new land development and zoning regulations and a zoning map that:

    • Helps achieve the goals, objectives, and action items of the Borough’s new Comprehensive Plan
    • Encourages infill development and a mix of density and land uses
    • Considers historic preservation and promotes development and redevelopment in accordance with the Borough’s historic character
    • Ensures new development is compatible with the Borough’s traditional development pattern
    • Maintains and improves walkability in the Borough
    • Accommodates a variety of housing types with a focus on attainable housing
    • Prioritizes transportation alternatives and provides for the integration of a multi-modal transportation network into the fabric of the Borough’s traditional settlement pattern

    TCDI Logo        Bergmann Logo and lInk   FHI Studio Logo and LInk

    The SALDO and ZO update will be a critical step towards achieving Oxford’s vision of a safe, creative, and inclusive community, with a strong and diverse economy and balanced by a desire to preserve the community’s unique character, resources, and charm.

    Project Schedule

    How can you get involved?
    Oxford's SALDO and ZO should reflect and address the needs and desires of the community. As with the development of the Comprehensive Plan and Active Transportation Plan, we need and want the input of residents, business and property owners, and all our community stakeholders. Nobody knows the Borough better than you! Meetings of the SALDO & ZO Task Force are open to anyone who would like to attend. There will also be specific opportunities throughout the process meant specifically to provide updates to the public, to engage residents, and to get your feedback. Check this site often for updates, meeting notices and new information.

      Please take 15 minutes to complete a community preference survey to help us understand your preferences regarding different development types, building and site design characteristics, and regulartory approaches. Community input will help guide the changes and updates that are made through this process. The survey is available in English and Spanish at the links below:

      Questions? Please call 610-932-2500 or email manager@oxfordboro.org