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Lebanon Sonic wants to expand

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Planning Commission recommends rezoning
Think double cheeseburgers and two for the price of one: Sonic is planning to double-size its Main Street location.

W. G. Wright, owner of the Sonic Restaurant on West Main Street, is asking the Lebanon Planning Commission to rezone the lot where the drive-in currently is located, as well as the lot next door, from Local Business (B-1) to Highway Business (B-4).

Although the Sonic was "grandfathered in," B-1 zoning does not allow drive-ins, and Wright wants to expand his restaurant. The adjoining lot is also zoned B-1 and couldn't be used for an expansion. A house currently stands on that lot, but Wright may be planning to tear it down to expand his Sonic, although he didn't specifically say so.

In response to Wright's request, the Planning Commission voted unanimously Tuesday night to recommend a zoning change for Sonic to expand, but it would be a more limited Restricted Business (B-3) zoning. Now the plan has to go on to the City Council for a decision.

Five Oaks growing again
Five Oaks on Lebanon Road also is ready to continue building new homes. Jim Harrison of the Civil Site Design engineering firm presented the preliminary plan for Phase 5 of Five Oaks to the Planning Commission Tuesday night.

The plat calls for 57 duplexes and two single-family homes on a total of 19.6 acres. Phase 5 also calls for a future development with about 40 lots.

The major street would turn off from Five Oaks Boulevard beyond the clubhouse and be an extension of Calloway Drive. The commission unanimously recommended the plans to the City Council.

The commissioners also voted unanimously to approve a site plan from Advanced Systems for an Easy Money business on South Cumberland.

The plan calls for a one-story building with a side entrance and signage on the side of the building facing the street.

The entrance door will be on the side of the building facing Applebee's Restaurant, according to David Abby of Development Management Group, the engineers for the project.

Revamping the zoning code
Also presented and approved unanimously was a draft plan updating the city zoning code. Planning Director Paul Corder said the plan is intended "to update from language used in the 1968 version of the code, and delete outmoded zoning classes."

In other words, the plan would eliminate some zones that are no longer being used. Plus, Corder also wants to add tables that will make the zoning and the regulations for each zone easier for developers to understand.

"This step is intended to clean up some antiquated language," Planning Commission Chair W. D. (Mack) McCluskey added.

"There is also a bucket list of things I think will still need to be addressed at some future date," Corder said.
McCluskey expanded on that, saying, "The bucket list is for things that need to be researched."

Public input sought
Corder said there will be a public hearing and a City Council work session about the proposed code revision at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18, before the regular council meeting, where the code will be presented to the council for its consideration.

Corder also plans to be available to explain the changes and talk with the public at two times in the weeks before the hearing. He will be in the City Council meeting room at City Hall at 2 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 3, and again at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 13.

The public also can email comments to him at, or call his office at 444-3647.

Connie Esh may be contacted at

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