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Former salvage yard site in Newport re-zoned

In an effort to help Newport resident Leisa Knauff better market her 14 parcels of land immediately south of the Newport City Hall, the council allowed a zone change from mixed use to warehouse and manufacturing.

The parcels currently house an auto body salvage yard, auto body shop and two homes.

The change from the MX4 district to a B1 zoning code allows Knauff the opportunity to speak with interested parties who want to use the space for potential warehouse storage and office space.

Representing TKDA architecture firm, planner Sherri Buss told council members last month that the use of the land, which is located at 478 7th Avenue, will not change because of its proximity to the railroad and highway.

“Because of the railroad, it is not a good site for retail or other commercial (spaces),” Buss said. “It’s not visible or adjacent to other retail use. And the feedback we get continually is that no one will develop here because of the railroad.”

Buss said the Newport Planning Commission reviewed performance standards and said incoming business on the parcels must adhere to the standards relating to a “buffer area and landscaping and they must deal with the noise.” The commission also gave its approval of the rezoning request.

A notice was sent out to all residents within 350 feet of Knauff’s property and there was no one in attendance to speak for or against the proposal.