Riverbanks & Wetlands Regulations

Recap of New Regulations Protecting Your Riverbanks & Wetlands

In March of 2013, Lebanon Voters adopted amendments to the City's Zoning Ordinance to protect their riverbanks and certain high and very high-value wetlands. The primary purpose of the Riverbank Protection District is to protect the health, safety, and general welfare of the people of the City of Lebanon by protecting its water quality and natural resources. This protection for rivers and streams extends from the ordinary high water mark 50 feet inland, with septic waste systems and fuel storage restrictions extending 125 feet inland. Twelve named and 3 unnamed public rivers and streams are part of the new Riverbank Protection District.

Prohibitions, Permits, Special Exceptions

The Riverbank Protection District prohibits new construction, new septic waste systems, the use of pesticides/herbicides/fertilizers, and also regulates vegetation removal. The District does permit certain types of uses within it, such as:

  • Above Ground Propane Tanks
  • Fences Constructed Without Use of Mechanical Equipment
  • Home Heating Fuel Within Existing Principal Structures
  • Limited Expansion of Existing Buildings and Structures Already Located Within the District That Are Now Considered Legal Non-Conforming Buildings
  • Limited Replacement of Existing Septic Waste Systems
  • Wells for Water Supplies

A Special Exception from the Zoning Board can be requested to consider within the Riverbank Protection District the permitting of:

  • New Driveways
  • Parking Areas
  • Pipe Lines
  • Power Lines
  • Streets

View the entire Riverbank Protection District, Article IV, Section 410 of the City Zoning Ordinance.

Recently Amended Items

Also amended in March by Lebanon Voters was the Wetlands Conservation District. One of the primary purposes of the Wetlands Conservation District is to preserve wetlands that provide flood protection, recharge groundwater supply, augment stream flow during dry periods, provide wildlife habitat, and enhance water quality. Voters amended this existing District to prohibit all uses except for wildlife habitat development, open space, conservation, and wetland enhancement or restoration within wetlands designated as High or Very High Value. Included in the amendment was a new 100-foot buffer around the High or Very High-Value Wetlands. It should be noted that not all wetlands are classified as high or very high value.

Uses that are allowed within the new 100-foot buffer, around only the High and Very High-Value Wetlands are, wells for water supplies, low-impact recreational uses such as pedestrian trails, minor accessory structures of 130 square feet or less, forestry, and agriculture. Also permitted within the buffer is replacement or repair of pre-existing driveways, culverts, and limited expansion of existing buildings and structures already located within the buffer that are now considered legal non-conforming buildings. The Wetlands Conservation District also regulates the location and installation of septic waste systems, timber cutting, and underground chemical or fuel storage tanks (excluding propane) within 200 feet of all wetlands.

A Special Exception from the Zoning Board can be requested for certain uses, such as buildings and structures, driveways, fences, pipelines, and transmissions lines that are proposed within the 100-foot buffer. This is the same approval process as required for development or impacts to all other jurisdictional wetlands that are not subject to the 100-foot buffer.

View the entire Wetlands Conservation District, Article IV, Section 401 of the City Zoning Ordinance.

You can view mapping of both the Riverbank Protection District and the Wetlands Conservation District (designates the wetlands that are high and very high value) by using the City's GIS mapping tool and choosing themes to highlight the River Bank Protection layer.