Local Government Update, May 2019

Monday, June 3, 2019

Baldwin County Planning Commission Meeting – May 2, 2019

Site Plan Approved for 49-lot RV Park

The Baldwin County Planning Commission approved the site plan for 49-lot RV Park to be located on an un-zoned 19.70-acre parcel.  The property is located on the west side of County Road 49, north of Mannich Lane, in the Magnolia Springs area.  The proposed lots will utilize new gravel private roadways with direct access to County Road 49.

Development Permit Approved for 4-Lot Division Near I-10

The Baldwin County Planning Commission approved a development permit request from Drake Investments for a 4-lot subdivision of a 10.65-acre un-zoned parcel.  The property is located on the south side of Patterson Road, between Rabbit Run and Forest View Road.  The newly created lots would front on Patterson Road.

Denial Recommended for Dirt Road Variance Request

The Baldwin County Planning Commission made a denial recommendation for a requested variance to divide a 5-acre parcel.  The division into two lots would violate the subdivision regulations since the new lots would front a dirt road.  All new lot divisions must front on a paved road.  The staff recommended denial of the variance request, pointing out that the 5-acre lot was split out of a 10-acre parcel in December of 2018 as a one-time split.  The un-zoned property is located on the north side of Springsteen Lane, east of Bender Road, in the Foley area.

Scenic 98 Re-Zoning Recommended

 A favorable recommendation was given for a possible re-zoning along Scenic Hwy. 98, south of Fairhope.  The recommendation will go to the Baldwin County Commission for final approval.  The 1.06-acre property is located on the northwest corner of Scenic Hwy. 98 and Moogs Lane.  The owner is seeking to re-zone the property from RSF-1 to RSF-2 to allow the parcel to be subdivided into two lots.  The property is located within the Battles Wharf Historic Dist., and any new construction will require approval of the Baldwin County Architectural Review Board.

Workforce Housing Re-Zoning Request Denied Recommendation

The Baldwin County Planning Commission voted to give a denial recommendation for a re-zoning request for a workforce housing development.  The applicant requested to re-zone 22 acres from RSF-1 to RSF-4 to allow for the development of a 78-lot affordable workforce housing subdivision.  The property is located on the north side of Hwy. 98, west of Breman Road, in the Elberta area.  The property had previously been the subject of requested RV Park.  The Baldwin County Commission has the final vote on all re-zoning requests.  This case will likely come before the County Commission in the coming month.

Re-Zoning Recommended for Robertsdale RV Park

The Baldwin County Planning Commission sent a favorable recommendation to the County Commission for a re-zoning request which would allow a boat and RV storage business.  The 5.4-acre tract is currently zoned RA.  The requested zoning is B-4.  The property is located west of Hwy. 59 and south of Julius Childress Dr., in the Robertsdale area.

Re-Zoning Recommended for Animal Clinic

The Baldwin County Planning Commission voted to send a favorable recommendation to the County Commission to re-zone property to allow an animal clinic with kennels and boarding.  The 4.3-acre property is currently zoned B-2.  The requested zoning is B-3.  The property is located on the northeast corner of Hwy. 181 and Milton Jones Rd. in the Daphne area.


Fairhope Planning Commission Meeting   – May 6, 2019

Planning Commission Recommends Boutique Hotel Site Plan

The Fairhope Planning Commission voted to give a favorable recommendation to a Multiple Occupancy Permit and Site Plan for the Boutique Hotel.  The property is located on the northeast corner of the intersection of Section St. and Fairhope Ave., at 10 N. Section St.  Plans include a three-story building to be constructed after demolition of the existing building.  The ground level would house three commercial units which could be leased.  The upper two stories would house up to 10 hotel rooms.  Design plans include an open rooftop deck.  Final site plan approval will come before the city council on 5-29-19.  (See 5-29-19 summary below where the issue was tabled by the city council).


Baldwin County Commission Meeting   – May 7, 2019

Final Site Plan Approved for Ft. Morgan Development

The Baldwin County Commission gave final site plan approval for a planned residential development to be named Seaglade at St. Andrews Bay.  The 10.53- acre property is located on the south side of Ft. Morgan Rd., west of Triple Tail Lane, and east of Pontoon Lane.  The development will include 27 single family residential lots with a height limit of 2.5 stories.  The approval was conditioned upon the private access road being paved.


Orange Beach Planning Commission Meeting – May 13, 2019

Caribe Resort PUD Modification Would Increase Parking

The Orange Beach Planning Commission voted to send a favorable recommendation to the Orange Beach City Council in favor of a major PUD modification. If approved by the city council, the Caribe PUD Master Plan would be modified to reduce the total units for Caribe East from 234 to 228 units, and increase the height from 22 to 24 floors.  The modification would accommodate more parking for the condominium.  In Caribe West, the modification would reduce the total units from 312 to 252, and increase the height from 22 to 25 floors.  The modification to Caribe West would accommodate more parking for the condominium and allow a parking level for the marina and overflow parking for Cobalt restaurant. 


Foley Planning Commission Meeting – May 15, 2019

Preliminary Approval Granted for Initial Phases of River Oaks

The Foley Planning Commission granted preliminary approval for Phase 1 and Phase 1A of River Oaks Subdivision.  Phase 1 consists of 71.65 acres and 62 lots.  Phase 1A, referred to as Crescent at River Oaks, consists of 71.65 acres and 36 lots.  The property is located on the northeast corner of Hickory St. and the extension of 9th Ave. in Foley.  When completed the entire PUD is expected to have 265 lots total.  The property is being developed by Southern Lifestyle Development.


Daphne City Council Meeting – May 20, 2019

Daphne Council Votes to Voice Objection to I-10 Tolls

The Daphne city council joined in the growing concern over the newly released projections for toll amounts for the I-10 bridge. The council voted to express their concerns in the form of a resolution which opposed the tolling of the bridge.  The initial information released by the Mobile River Bridge Project suggests that toll amounts could be between $3 - $6 each way.  Many Daphne and Eastern Shore residents commute to Mobile each day and toll amounts would impact those residents disproportionately. 


Spanish Fort City Council – May 21, 2019

Spanish Fort Votes to Place 3-Mil School Tax on Ballot

The Spanish Fort City Council voted to allow a 3-mil special district school tax to go before voters.  Residents in the Spanish Fort school feeder pattern will have the opportunity in a September special election to vote on whether to approve the additional property tax.  If approved by voters, the additional tax revenue of approximately $800,000 per year would be divided between the Spanish Fort schools.  In addition to being used to enhance educational opportunities, the council agreed that the additional tax revenue could also be used for athletics. The tax would have a 10-year sunset provision. 


Orange Beach City Council Meeting – May 21, 2019

Salary Increase Approved for 2020 Mayor & Council

The salaries for the Orange Beach mayor and council are going up.  Starting in November of 2020 the mayor of Orange Beach will receive a salary of $75,000 per year; a $30,000 increase from its current level. Councilmembers will be paid $18,000 per year; a $1,500 increase from its current level.  And, the chairman pro-tem will be paid $19,750; a $2,000 increase from its current level.


Fairhope City Council Meeting – May 29, 2019

Fairhope Sign Ordinance Amendments Approved by Council

On 5-29-19 the Fairhope City Council voted unanimously to amend the sign ordinance to make allowances for temporary off-site directional signs.  Baldwin Realtors was engaged in the process of advocating for changes and helping draft language with the city on behalf of Realtors and homeowners.  We appreciate the cooperation of Council President Jack Burrell, Mayor Wilson, and the councilmembers in this process.

The amendments allow a weekend exception for off-site directional signs (open house signs) on the right- of-way from 5 p.m. Friday to 5 p.m. Sunday.  There is a limit of two signs per event/listing.  Signs are limited to 3 square feet in size.  The following are considered “beautification areas” and signs are NEVER allowed:

*flower beds

*central business district

*city parks and roads abutting city parks

*intersection of Fairhope Ave. at Highway 98

*intersection of Fairhope Ave. at Highway 181

*intersection of Highway 98 at Morphy Ave.

*roundabouts & medians

We encourage Realtors to read the entire text of the amendment and strictly follow the new rules.  Any signs in violation of the ordinance are subject to removal by the city and fines will be imposed.

Fairhope Council Tables Boutique Hotel Site Plan

The Fairhope Planning Commission voted to give site plan and MOP approval earlier this month for a boutique hotel to be located at the center of downtown.  But, when then the same items came before the Fairhope city council they were met with concerns and delay.  Ultimately, the Fairhope council voted to table the items.  The breakdown is centered around the small piece of property surrounding the Fairhope clock.  City council members want the developer to consider a land swap in which the small city-owned courtyard to the north would be swapped for the corner space.  Under the current design, the clock would still remain. But, there have been citizen complaints that the building design would encroach upon the clock area and disturb the aesthetic.  After much discussion, the council voted to table the item with the intention of entering negotiations with the developer to consider a land swap of the clock corner.

Fairhope Council Considers Conservation Easement for Dyas Triangle

The Fairhope Council discussed the idea of placing the 108-acre city-owned property commonly referred to as the Dyas Triangle, in a conservation easement to be managed by Weeks Bay Foundation.  This idea was met with opposition from the mayor and some concerns from the public in attendance.  Some council members desire to protect the property from future development and ensure that it remains undeveloped and for the public use.  The mayor expressed concerns about giving up decision making control over the management of the property and wants the process to be citizen engaged and incorporate the planning with the city-wide comprehensive plan.  Legal questions arose about whether Alabama law allows for a municipality to place city-owned property into a conservation easement.  Ultimately, the council tabled the item for further discussion and research.  The un-developed property is in the Fly Creek watershed.  The council has previously discussed creating biking/walking trails on the site.  If the property is placed in a conservation easement, the walking/biking trails could still be developed.