Knox Rail Salvage faces rezoning issues

It's not just about lumber, but improving the property as a whole.

Driving to the end of Depot Avenue, it's hard to miss Knox Rail Salvage.

The home improvement store takes up a large part of the block, with piles of lumber sitting almost on the road.

That's something the business hopes to change.

"We're not in violation [of our zoning] at all, but we want to put that behind a fence and we think that's a better idea, aesthetically it's much better," Vice President of Operations and Marketing Joel Piper said.

Loading ...

Piper said the company has been working since November to change the zoning on one plot of land so it can store the lumber properly, but its industrial rezoning request did not pass the city council, taking the store back to the drawing board.

Knox Rail Salvage hopes rezoning can help store this lumber behind a fence and out of sight of passers by.

"The MPC (Metropolitan Planning Commission) agreed with us, they recommended the city council approve (industrial zoning), but there was some opposition in the community about industrial zoning," said Piper. "We understand that. So we're going to go back to MPC to look at another more appropriate zoning."

Piper said the next request will be for commercial rezoning.

It's not just about lumber, but improving the property as a whole, Piper said.

That includes repurposing an old building on their property by installing a new kitchen gallery inside.

Knox Rail Salvage is hoping to rezone a portion of its land to make the property more aesthetically pleasing.

The store also plans to paint and get new fences.

Knox Rail Salvage has been in its Old City location for 39 years, and Piper said there are no plans to move.

"We'll find a way to make this work, but we're not going to go away just because we're not a coffee shop or a microbrewery and we don't do condos," Piper said. "We were downtown when it wasn't cool. So now it's cool and we're gonna stay downtown."

Knox Rail Salvage must take its new commercial zoning request to the MPC.

The earliest it will be before city council is May.