Local Government Update, September 2019

Monday, September 30, 2019

Baldwin County Commission Meeting – September 3, 2019

Two Re-Zoning Requests Withdrawn

The applicants of two separate re-zoning cases withdrew their request prior to the County Commission voting on the items at the September 3rd meeting.  The first withdrawn case was the Hayes Property, located at the south side of County Road 68 and west of County Road 71 north.  The original request on the 26.93-acre property was a re-zoning from RA to RV-1 for an RV park. 

The second withdrawn case was the Shoenight property, located on the south side of County Road 12 and west of Willow Lake Estates. The original request on the property was a re-zoning from RMF-6 to B-3 for boat and RV storage.


Orange Beach City Council Meeting – September 3, 2019

Business License Moratorium on CBD Oil Sales Lifted, New Ordinance Adopted

The Orange Beach City Council adopted new rules for businesses selling CBD oil, a non-intoxicating compound derived from industrial hemp.  At the same time the council lifted a moratorium on new business licenses for businesses engaged in CBD oil sales.  The new ordinance will add requirements for a certificate of analysis from an independent lab, and add packaging protocols.  The ordinance prohibits the business from making any representation that hemp extracts have therapeutic benefits unless such claim is approved by the FDA.  It also prohibits the sale of food or drink containing hemp extracts, drug paraphernalia sales, and other merchandise that advertises recreational drugs.

Orange Beach Providing Financial Support for Added Sports and Rec Facilities

The Orange Beach City Council voted to appropriate funding for three sports and recreation projects.  Among those receiving funding include $236,000 for architectural and engineering services for a new Adult Fitness Center, $109,500 for architectural and engineering services for baseball and softball field renovations at the Orange Beach Sportsplex to renovate and create new fields, and $356,288 for architectural and engineering services for a new co-ed Field House and Practice Facility for the Orange Beach High School.


Fairhope Planning Commission Meeting – September 5, 2019

Lot Division Approved on S. Section St.

The Fairhope Planning Commission gave plat approval which will allow a 4-lot minor division of a 4.5-acre parcel.  The property is located on the west side of S. Section St., just south of Twin Echo Ct.  Currently the property is wooded and vacant.  The property is un-zoned in Baldwin County, and within Fairhope’s extra territorial jurisdiction.  Any future development of the lots would fall within the Fairhope Subdivision Regulations.

Historic Building in Fairhope Getting a Facelift

The Fairhope Planning Commission granted a multiple occupancy permit for the property formerly known as the old Fairhope Hardware store downtown.  The property is located on the corner of Church St. and Fairhope Ave.  The original building is being renovated with an eye toward maintaining the historic integrity.  The exterior veneer has been removed to expose original windows.  Plans for the building include six commercial units.  No residential space is included in the plans.


Baldwin County Planning Commission Meeting – September 5, 2019

Final Site Plan Approved for Deep South Boat Storage & RV Park

The Baldwin County Planning Commission gave final site plan approval for Deep South Boat Storage and RV Park.  The 70-site RV park is planned for the south side of County Rd. 12 south, west of Hwy. 59.  The 10.25-acre property is un-zoned in Baldwin County on the north side of the Gulf Shores area.

Re-Zoning Denial Recommendation for New Bay Minette Dollar General

The Baldwin County Planning Commission voted 6-2 to send a recommendation for denial to the County Commission.  The owner was requesting a re-zoning of 2.72 acres from RSF-E to RR for future development by the Broadway Group, which represents Dollar General.  The property is located on the southwest corner of Hwy. 225 and River Road, north of Blakely State Park.  The lot is currently wooded.

Unanimous Denial Recommendation for Point Clear Condo Request

The Retirement Systems of Alabama (RSA) petitioned the Baldwin County Planning Commission for the re-zoning of 1.27 acres of a larger 26-acre parcel.  RSA requested the zoning change from TR (tourist resort) to HDR (high density residential) to develop a 12-unit, 4-story condo on the site.  The property is located on the west side of Scenic 98, just north of the Grand Hotel and marina.  The Planning Commission voted unanimously to send a denial recommendation to the Baldwin County Commission.  By right, under the current TR zoning, up to a three story/60-room hotel is allowable. 

New Zoning Amendments Recommended for Ft. Morgan

The Baldwin County Planning Commission voted to recommend certain zoning amendments to Dist. 25 (Ft. Morgan area) due to its unique and environmentally sensitive nature.  The changes being recommended include removal of HDR (high density residential) as a zoning classification, and a 2-story maximum for single family and duplex homes.  Also included are new dune walkover requirements to limit the height of walkovers, and the establishment of planning and zoning considerations for Coastal High Hazard Areas (CHHA) and Flood Hazard Areas (FHA). 


Fairhope City Council Meeting – September 9, 2019

Council Approved Commercial Re-Zoning Along Hwy. 181

The Fairhope City Council granted final approval for a re-zoning of 1.48 acres located at the northwest corner of Hwy. 181 and Windmill Rd.  Provision Investments, LLC made the request to change the zoning from R-2 to B-4.

Council Approves City Purchase of Recreational Land

The Fairhope City Council voted 3-2 to approve the purchase of recreational land intended for city ball fields.  The vote came after negotiations on a separate property located on Twin Beech Rd. failed to result in an acceptable price.  The property being purchased is located at the northwest corner of County Rd. 32 and County Road 13.  The 114-acre parcel was negotiated for a purchase price of $2.65M.

Downtown Boutique Hotel Granted Site Plan Approval

After months of delay and negotiation over a potential land swap that would have traded the city-owned courtyard for the privately-owned clock corner, the city council approved a site plan for the northeast corner of Fairhope Ave. and Section St. without the land swap.  The developer of the property has presented plans for a 13-unit boutique hotel on the site.  The ground level would have a commercial/retail component, while the upper portion would be hotel rooms. 


Orange Beach City Council Meeting – September 17, 2019

Orange Beach City Council Denies Beachfront Re-Zoning Request

A re-zoning request for 1.74 acres located at 23916 and 23926 Perdido Beach Blvd. (commonly known as the “blue house”) which was met with a unanimous denial recommendation by the Orange Beach Planning Commission at their August meeting was again denied by the City Council.  The property is one of a few beachfront lots still zoned as RS-1.  Owners were requesting the zoning to be changed from RS-1 to PUD and were seeking to include the property in the Hammock Dunes PUD Master Plan and add 11 cottages to the property. The property is sandwiched between Phase I of Hammock Dunes and the Phoenix West.  Developers argued that due to the high density surrounding the property, the current single-family zoning has become untenable.  The property is surrounded by BR-2, PUD, GB, and RM-1 zoning.  The Council voted 4-1 to deny, with 1 abstention.  Those in opposition articulated the council’s commitment to not up-zone any property in Orange Beach. Under the current RS-1 zoning the property can accommodate two houses or one duplex.    


Special School Tax District Election – September 17, 2019

Fairhope and Spanish Voters Approve Special School Property Tax Increase

Voters in Fairhope and Spanish Fort approved the creation of a Special School Tax Dist. in each of their respective school feeder patterns.  The Fairhope tax dist. will remain in effect for 30 years and is estimated to generate an additional $1.8 million per year.  The Spanish Fort tax dist. will remain in place for 10 years and is estimated to generate an additional $800k per year. The additional tax revenue will stay in the respective school feeder patterns and be divided between the schools in those feeder patterns with spending oversight by local committees. The approvals will mean property tax bills in those school feeder patterns will increase by 3 mills.  The new tax will go into effect 10-1-19, with the new increase being reflected on the tax bills that go out in October of 2020.   An average home valued at $300,000 will see a yearly property tax increase of $90.        


Daphne Planning Commission Meeting – September 26, 2019

Master Plan Presented for New Malbis Infirmary Health Building

Representatives from Thompson Engineering delivered the master plan proposal to the Daphne Planning Commission, who voted for approval.  Infirmary Health has plans to build a medical office building on a 17.8-acre site located on the south side of Hwy. 90, at Renaissance Blvd.  The property is zoned B-2(a).   A three-story building containing 82,000 square feet of medical office space will sit in the center of the site.  The Alabama Dept. of Transportation has requested a turn lane be constructed going into the entrance.  The design architecture of the building will be Greek Neo-Classical and is intended to be consistent with the design of the surrounding area.

Jubilee Farms Moving Forward on Phase 4

The Daphne Planning Commission granted final plat review to Phase 4 of Jubilee Farms Subdivision.  Phase 4 will consist of 52 lots on 21.62 acres.  Jubilee Farms is planned to have over 900 homes upon final buildout over a 15-year period.  The entrance amenity features are currently under construction at the Hwy. 181 entrance.