Council approves building fee increase

Xavier Smith • Updated May 3, 2017 at 8:00 AM

The Lebanon City Council approved impact fees for new development Tuesday to help fund police, fire and other public service agencies in the city. 

The impact fees include $900 for new single-family residential units and $1,000 for multi-family residential unit, which will include townhomes, duplexes, apartments, condos and more. 

The council also approved a commercial building impact fee of 50 percent of the assessed building permit fee for commercial, retail and industrial facilities, hotels, motels and any other non-residential structure. 

Any final subdivision plat and/or final site development plan, excluding preliminary or conceptual master plans, submitted to the city staff for review by the Lebanon Planning Commission before the ordinance’s passage on second reading will have until Dec. 31, 2017, to obtain building permits under the current building permit fee structure.

Councilors Rick Bell and Joey Carmack expressed heartburn about approving the fees before the passage of the city’s budget. Mayor Bernie Ash introduced the fees with his proposed 2017-2018 fiscal year budget as a way for letting growth throughout the city pay for itself. 

Councilor Chris Crowell previously said he didn’t favor the idea of relying on a non-reliable funding source when growth could and would stop in the county eventually.

“In 2009, there were multiple months where there were zero building permits issued. How much revenue do you get by multiplying by zero? Zero. We’re talking about going from a reliable source of income to a less reliable source,” Crowell said last week during a budget work session.

The additional revenue from the fees will go to staff the new Lebanon Fire Hall with full-time staff instead of nine full-time and six part-time staffers. The fees will also help fund three additional officers for the Lebanon Police Department.

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