A big empty space in Newport’s South Beach area seems destined to become a valuable part of Newport in the near future. The Newport City Council has been eyeing the 146 acres that are undeveloped south of the Yaquina Bay Bridge. The city would like to see it become industrialized as well as becoming a residential area.
Plans for such a change in urban scenery have been hanging in the air for years. The South Beach project will enjoy new housing, better roads and streets and, at the same time, take over the water utility lines when the north portion of the Seal Rock Water District is taken over by Newport. When the take-over kicks in, Newport Urban Renewal will play a huge role in the look and feel of the upgraded water, street and sewer facilities. With Newport stepping in, those already living in the area will see water and sewer rates decline noticeably to the same levels as the rest of Newport. But to be clear, the homes and other properties will be subject to Newport’s tax levy which, of course, will pump up the city’s piggy bank to help a “pay as you go” approach.
City officials say there will be public hearings – one before the city planning commission and the other in front of the Newport City Council. Both hearings will likely be in the fall.