BATESVILLE, AR (KAIT) - Main Street Batesville could see new residents in the future.
Diane Tebbetts has been working for months to make main street loft apartments a reality.
The city planning and zoning commission held a public forum this month regarding apartment permits. The commission approved the use of apartments above downtown businesses.
The previous permit said people had to apply for a conditional use permit before opening an apartment.
Tebbetts said the commission also lowered the amount of parking requirements.
Previously, Batesville required two parking spots for every apartment. Now it is up to the code enforcement officer's discretion whether an apartment needs one or two parking spots.
Tebbetts said she has talked with several property owners and some are interested in turning in the upstairs of their building into living space.
She said she knows creating apartment is expensive but will benefit growth and business in downtown Batesville.
"It would also bring more people downtown and contribute to the liveliness of downtown life in the evening and weekends," Tebbetts said.
Tebbetts is working with the fire department to inform owners about the type of requirements building must meet.
She has also been in contact with the Arkansas Historic Preservation Commission to find any tax incentives for owners to open up apartments.
Tebbetts hopes to have at least two apartments open within a year.
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