Lebanon capitalizes on the “uniqueness of the city” with a new central residential district
June 18 – Starting next month, Lebanon will have a new central residential area and regulations for short-term rentals.
Lebanon’s city council has approved the new zoning map and changes to the text of the city’s zoning code, a project city officials have been working on for several months. The rezoning of properties adjacent to downtown has created a central residential neighborhood.
Officials said properties in this area are a mix of institutional buildings, churches, community services and residential properties.
Mayor Mark Messer said it will create new opportunities for residents and investors.
“This will allow for more reinvestment in the area and help bring degraded properties to code,” Messer said. “It also fills a need because there are few hotels in the city where visitors can stay.”
“We are working to capitalize on the uniqueness of the city,” he said.
The new zoning regulations will permit many of the uses sought by landlords, such as offices and short-term rentals, to be permitted on a conditional basis, while eliminating less desirable uses such as bars, etc.
Starting next month, the city will allow short-term rentals occupied by non-owners, with specific regulations, as well as other compatible uses as conditional uses.
City Manager Scott Brunka said officials met with owners on March 9 to discuss their properties with a mixed reaction to the proposed map change. Brunka said many were excited about the proposal, while others were concerned about the proposed change.
The owners also requested that New and North Mechanic Streets as well as Warren and Cherry Streets be included in the new central residential area. The neighborhood is residential and the residents wanted it to continue. The central business district would continue north and include commercial properties.
The new zoning code would give owner-occupied and non-owner-occupied properties permission to operate a short-term rental in Lebanon, under certain conditions.
Additionally, officials said owner-occupied properties outside the district would also be allowed to operate a short-term rental in Lebanon under certain conditions. However, the rental of single and single-storey rooms is authorized throughout the year.
The new regulations include: — Prohibiting remodeling or structural alteration to a building that would prevent the structure from being used as a residence in the future or that would make it appear “less residential”. — Prohibit the construction of new dwellings intended mainly for rental to short-term guests. It also prohibits the short-term rental of single-family structures that were built less than five years before the application date for a short-term rental permit. — Require that no more than 25% of units in multi-family buildings can be used for short-term rentals.