CITY OF LEBANON COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE
POINT OF CONTACT: Derek Gean
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Housing incentives credited for bringing more than 400 percent increase in permits
The City of Lebanon has seen more than a 400% increase in residential building permits issued between Jan. 1 and May 10 of this year over those issued in 2018.
At this time in 2018, the City had issued four residential permits, this year; the City has issued 18.
City officials attribute the increase in construction to new housing incentives created by the Lebanon City Council. The resolution authorized City staff to waive development fees for residential construction on up to 25 existing lots. Homes must be priced at or below $200,000 to qualify for the program.
Mayor Jared Carr said the program is already seeing positive results.
"When the community works together and the council lays out a solid plan, great things begin to happen," Carr said.
The mayor and council have worked with several community organizations and the Lebanon Regional Economic Development Corporation to make the program a reality.
“This is just going to help up increase quality housing for our residents and help grow Lebanon and our workforce,” Carr said.
Not only have residential permits increased. Commercial building permits have doubled from eight to 16. Accessory structure permits have increased from one to 40. Occupancy permits have increased from 247 to 306 and demolition of dilapidated structures have increased three-fold, from seven to 21.
"This is all part of the mayor and city council's focus on moving forward for success and growing Lebanon," said Michael Schumacher, City Administrator. "We are open for business and we are supporting our businesses' workforce development efforts."
According to Joe Berkich, Code Administrator, this is likely just the beginning of growth in Lebanon.
On May 9 the Planning and Zoning Commission approved re-zoning that, if approved by council, is expected to result in two single-family homes and 19 duplex apartments.
"This one project will result in 40 new homes," Berkich said.
A 2016 housing study the City participated in, along with the Lake of the Ozarks Council for Local Governments and Lake of the Ozarks Regional Economic Development Council, noted that Lebanon has a shortage of approximately 117 units in the $50,000 to $75,000 range and a shortage of 454 units in the $100,000 to $149,000 range. That shortage along with the abundance of more than 400 available building locations fueled the incentive.
According to City officials, the housing stock shortage is one of the barriers employers face when trying to attract potential recruits to the region to fill several hundred jobs that remain open every month.
They also noted that new homes in the price range would help current residents find income-appropriate housing, as many are living in dwellings slightly beyond their financial means due to the shortfall.