Local Government Update, June 2018

Friday, June 29, 2018

Fairhope Planning Commission – June 4, 2018

Discussion Ongoing to Amend Low-Impact Development Standards

Fairhope Planning Department Staff held an informal discussion before the Planning Commission about the way the city requires low-impact development (LID) standards to be used in new developments. Currently, developers are required to use 10 out of the total 15 LIDs in any new development to manage storm-water runoff. The staff is proposing to remove the requirement of using multiple LIDs. Instead, they want developers to be able to choose what LID technique best fits the site. The performance must remain the same. A total of 80% of suspended solids must be removed from water runoff before it leaves the site, and the amount of water flow would remain the same. These proposals may appear before the city council in coming months as amendments to the subdivision regulations.         


Baldwin County Planning & Zoning Commission – June 7, 2018

Re-Zoning Recommendation Denied for Lillian RV Park

The Baldwin County Planning Commission denied a recommendation to the County Commission for a proposed RV Park. The subject property is located on the south side of U.S. Hwy 98 in Lillian. The applicant was requesting to rezone 39.38 acres from RA to B-4 to allow the development of an RV Park and RV storage. Neighbors voiced complaints during the public hearing about increased traffic and concerns the development would be unsightly. The Planning Commission had problems with the location and the proposed gravel roadway. The request will now move on to the County Commission for a final decision.

Re-Zoning Recommended to Allow Office/Warehouse

A 19-acre parcel located on the northeast corner of County Road 64 and County Road 66, received a favorable recommendation for re-zoning. If approved by the County Commission, the property will change from RA to B-3 to allow an office/warehouse for a construction business and possible commercial development of the property.



Fairhope City Council – June 11, 2018

Botanical Garden Concept Presented for Triangle Property

During the Mayor and Directors Roundtable discussion period before the Fairhope City Council meeting, a concept plan was discussed for the city owned “triangle property” located at the north edge of the city entrance off Hwy 98 and Scenic 98. The city owns over 100 acres in the area, 30 acres of which are south of Scenic 98 and commonly referred to as the “triangle”. A concept plan was presented by city staff for a botanical garden on the triangle property. Ideas discussed included consolidating the city greenhouses to the property, creating nature trails, a conservatory, wedding venue, community event space, concert venue, a historic village, public art displays, etc. A general concept plan was discussed. If plans move forward, the next step will be creating a master plan, funding plan, and community involvement.

Fairhope Starts Process of Sewer Upgrades Amid Government Dysfunction

The Fairhope City Council voted to approve moving forward with engineering services   which will pave the way for much needed upgrades to the sewer infrastructure in the city. Preliminary engineering services were approved for the Church St. outfall transmission system, Bayou Dr., Fairwood Blvd, and Fairhope Ave. transmission systems. Also approved was engineering services for GIS mapping for asset management and modeling for the sewer department. These approvals came during one of the most contentious city council meetings to date. During the public comment portion of the meeting various members of the public voiced their displeasure at the condition of relations between the mayor and city council members. This resulted in separate calls from the public for the mayor and the council president to resign. The meeting concluded with the mayor and council members trading accusations as to who was to blame for the current condition and lack of cooperation.  


Orange Beach Planning & Zoning Commission – June 11, 2018

Orange Beach Considering Regulation of Portable Buildings

The Orange Beach Planning Commission had an informal discussion regarding the regulation of portable buildings in the city. Currently there is no criteria for regulating portable buildings. The placement of a portable building on a deck behind Phoenix III, which was being used to sell ice cream and snow cones seems to have prompted the discussion. The portable building was shut down and received a citation from the city for unlawfully operating a business. But, it spurred a discussion about portable buildings in general. The Planning Commission members seemed to be in agreement to move forward with a zoning amendment to address portable buildings and directed city staff to start drafting changes. Look for a proposed amendment in the coming months.


Daphne City Council – June 18, 2018

Property Condemnation Action Avoided

Property located at 706 Belrose Ave. in Daphne was again addressed by the Daphne City Council. The property has been the subject of a move by the city council to attempt condemnation. The property has been in a state of disrepair for several years. The city has grown frustrated with the lack of construction progress to repair the home located on the property. The city has also expressed a desire to use the property for additional parking at city hall. A last-minute compromise resulted in the city agreeing to extend a building permit for 1 year for the owner to make sufficient repairs. If the repairs are not completed within one year, then the owner will be subject to a $100/day fine.


Gulf Shores Planning Commission – June 26, 2018

Workforce Housing Development Gets Contingent Re-Zoning Approval

A 17.52 acre tract located on the west side of Hwy 59, between West 34th and West 36th Avenue was given a favorable recommendation by the Gulf Shores Planning Commission to re-zone from R-1-4 (single family residential) to R-3 (multi family low density). The recommendation will move on to the City Council for a final decision. The approval was contingent upon the development obtaining the right of way for a roadway connection between the proposed development and Hwy 59. The proposed development also includes an adjacent 65-acre tract. The two tracts together would allow for an east to west connection through the development, which could connect to Hwy 59. The development is being marketed by Turn Key Homes as a mix of one-story townhomes which would be affordable for seniors and couples in the workforce.

Bon Vie Development Granted Site Plan Approval

The Gulf Shores Planning Commission granted site plan approval for a mixed-use development located on West 2nd St., across from Midtown Gulf Shores. The development, named Bon Vie, will house four separate buildings on a 1.92 acre site. The lower level of the building will house 13 retail and office spaces. The upstairs will house 13 residential condos. The property is zoned NB (neighborhood business).

Regency Place Apartments Given Site Plan Approval

The Gulf Shores Planning Commission gave site plan approval for a four story, 206 unit apartment complex. Regency Place Apartments will be located on Regency Road directly north of The Enclave at Oak Hill Condominiums, and is zoned R-4. The apartments are being characterized as higher-end, with stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. Amenities will include a pool and fitness center.


Daphne Planning Commission – June 28, 2018

Re-Zoning Decision Delayed Again on Jacob’s Well, L.L.C. Property

Public frustrations were evident at a packed meeting of the Daphne Planning Commission. At issue was the re-zoning request made by Craig Dyas for property located at the northeast corner of U.S. Hwy. 98 and Halls Lane, in Daphne. Mr. Dyas addressed the commission about last minute changes to his PUD request that some commission members saw for the first time at the meeting. Dyas was requesting the current R-3 zoning be changed to PUD on a 4-acre tract, which he plans to use as a mixed-use development with office space on the ground floor, and living space above. The tract is part of a larger development that has already been approved for townhomes. The public has opposed any connection through the property that would create a link between Hwy. 98 and Old Town Daphne. In the end the commission chose to table the request to allow more time for commission members to acquaint themselves with the latest changes presented by Dyas. The request could come before the Daphne Planning Commission again at the July meeting.