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City Council takes steps to regulate short-term rentals, in-home daycares

The Lennox City Council met Monday, Jan. 22. Council members heard agenda items including ordinances and grant approvals.

The first order of business was to have the second reading of Ordinance 644. The Lennox Planning Commission has recommended the adoption of an ordinance regulating short-term rentals in Lennox. The ordinance will allow short-term rentals as a conditional use in the Urban Acreage, Single Family, and Multi-family districts. It requires such properties to provide proof of a sales tax license, no signs be posted, and that the property is required to comply with the City’s International Property Maintenance Code. Council members asked City Administrator, Nate Vander Plaats if he had heard any feedback from the current short-term rental hosts. 

“I have not heard any feedback since the first reading, I did speak with both of them when this was in front of the Planning Commission and we will reach out again once this becomes finalized 20 days after publication and make sure we help them walk through this process,” he said.  

Motion approved.

The second reading for Ordinance 646 was read. The Lennox Planning Commission has recommended the adoption of Ordinance 646 for further regulating in-home daycares. 

“The first reading passed at the last City Council meeting, and there have been no changes since the first reading,” Vander Plaats said. 

The ordinance will allow random annual inspections for in-home daycares. With no discussion, the motion passed.

The final second reading of the night was for Ordinance 647 – Solid Waste Collection. The City has requested a clarification on the City’s solid waste collection ordinance to clarify collection of garbage is permitted every two weeks. The Ordinance states that every licensed commercial hauler shall collect the garbage at least once each week but is permitted to offer residential garbage collection as infrequently as every two weeks. 

“Prior to the first reading, I emailed all the license holders and I haven’t heard back, so I reached out by phone to all of them and heard back from two of them and they didn’t have any objections but also don’t anticipate offering any less frequent pickups,” Vander Plaats said.  

Motion approved.

The Council heard the first reading of Ordinance 648. The City staff and the City Council have asked that an ordinance be drafted to allow City staff to process livestock permits. 

“After the discussion at the last City Council meeting, this ordinance was drafted that would remove the requirement for the City Council to approve livestock permits which is primarily chickens in our case and we did need a little bit of cleanup when I started reviewing this that relates to a new Urban Acreage Zone. This Ordinance provides that clarity, and transfers the authority for livestock permits from the Zoning Administrator or the City Administrator,” he said. 

Motion approved.

Director, Audrea Buller from the Lennox Community Library requested a motion to approve a grant request. “Before you, I have the draft for the Stephanie Miller grant that is a grant that we have been applying for the last three years. If granted this year, we will have to take a required break next year and then we can reapply again. It’s usually primarily used towards the summer reading program,” she said. 

Motion approved.  

Vander Plaats brought to the council’s attention the need for a new Finance Officer. 

“Our Finance Officer [Denise Hanson] is leaving us this summer as she plans to retire in 2024. With that impending departure, we need to start the hiring process, which I imagine is going to take several months and we’re going to have to search pretty widely for. We do anticipate some changes to the position, Denise and I spent some time cleaning up the job description and made sure the office conditions mirrored the other office working conditions,” he said. 

Motion approved.


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