Local Government Update, October 2019

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Orange Beach City Council & Town Hall Meeting – October 1, 2019

Plans Presented at Town Hall Meeting

Large crowds came out to hear current information and future goals at the Orange Beach Town Hall meeting held at the Wharf Event Center.  Mayor Kennon outlined the financial strength of the city including $30M in reserves, $25M in operating budget, assessed property value of over $1B, and an AA1 bond rating.  Building/Construction permits continue to increase, with 2,199 being issued in 2018, with 756 Condominium/Hotel units and the remaining majority as single-family residential construction.  There was a re-statement of the current administration’s desire to not up-zone any property. Potential new zoning amendments being considered by the city include the elimination of residential land use in GB (General Business) zoning districts and elimination of multi-family land use in MR (Marine Resort) zoning districts.

Transportation improvement plans were also presented.  Canal Road widening is anticipated to be complete in December of 2020. Canal Road widening to 3 lanes from Orange Beach Blvd. to Wilson Blvd. is anticipated to begin in January of 2020.  Full access will be limited on Canal Rd., east of Orange Beach Blvd., and a roundabout constructed at the Art Center to facilitate traffic movement.  The Wolf Bay Bridge project is on hold for now.  A Canal Road Bypass to Orange Beach Blvd, south of  McDonalds, is in the planning stages with a projected completion sometime in 2022.

A complete copy of the presentation can be found on the City of Orange Beach website here


Baldwin County Planning Commission Meeting – October 3, 2019

Re-Zoning Recommended for Marine Sales Business

The Baldwin County Planning Commission voted to send a favorable recommendation to the County Commission for the re-zoning of 4.4 acres located generally at the northeast corner of Roscoe Rd. between Foley and Orange Beach.  If approved by the County Commission the zoning will change from RA to B-3. The B-3 zoning is being requested for the purpose of establishing a marine retail sales business.

Re-Zonings Requested to Accommodate Horses

The Baldwin County Planning Commission heard two separate re-zoning requests for the purpose of allowing horses on the property.  Both requests received a favorable recommendation and will proceed to the County Commission for final approval.  The properties include 19.75 acres located on the south side of Hwy. 90 on County Rd. 62 South, which is requesting a change from RSF-1 to RA; and a 64.8-acre parcel located on the west side of Hwy. 225 which is requesting a zoning change from RSF-1 to RSF-E.

Development Permit Approved for 4 Lot Division in Elsanor Area

The Baldwin County Planning Commission granted Development Permit approval for a 9.6-acre property located east of County Road 87 and approx. 1.3 miles south of Hwy. 90 on Greek Cemetery Rd.  The 9.6 acres are being divided into 4 proposed lots, with 2.4 acres being the smallest lot size.  The property is un-zoned. 


Fairhope Planning Commission Meeting – October 7, 2019

Fairhope Re-Zoning Sought for New Restaurant

The Fairhope Planning Commission voted to send a favorable recommendation to the City Council for a re-zoning request which may bring another restaurant to town.  The property is located at 309 S. Ingleside St., and is currently a single family residence zoned R-2.  The applicant is requesting a zoning change to B-3(b).  Plans include renovating the existing structure and adding a commercial kitchen, restrooms, and parking.  If approved by the City Council, it could mean another Mexican styled restaurant coming to the area which already is home to Warehouse Bakery and District Hall.


Fairhope City Council Meeting – October 9, 2019

Fairhope Council Approves Section St. PUD

The Fairhope City Council voted for final approval to re-zone property from M-1 (Light Industrial) to PUD.  The 5.22-acre property is generally located on the west side of S. Section St. just south of Pecan Ave., across from the Fairhope Public Works Dept.  The proposed development is to be known as “Summer Lane” and will contain 15 single family lots.         


Orange Beach Planning Commission Meeting – October 14, 2019

New Zoning Amendments Being Considered in Orange Beach

The Orange Beach Planning Commission considered several zoning amendments at its October meeting.  The proposed amendments would modify the definition of Dwelling Unit; remove one-family dwellings, two-family dwellings and multi-family dwellings as permitted-by-right uses in the  GB (General Business) zoning district; remove multi-family dwellings as permitted-by-right use in the MR (Marine Resort) zoning district; and recommend that single-family and duplex residential developments with non-standard lots have centrally located trash and sanitation facilities.  All proposed zoning amendments received a favorable recommendation except the removal of multi-family from Marine Resort zoning dist. which received an unfavorable recommendation.  The Marine Resort changes were met with public opposition from property owners who objected to the potential loss in valuation and use of their property. The proposed amendments will now go before the City Council for final consideration.

The proposed definition of Dwelling Unit is:

- Any building or portion thereof, that has independent living facilities, including provisions for cooking, sanitation and sleeping.

- Is designed for residential occupancy.

- All rooms within the dwelling unit shall have internal access.

- Dwelling unit shall have no more than one electrical meter.

- A building with more than one set of facilities for cooking shall be considered multiple dwelling units unless additional facilities are clearly accessories.

Site Plan Approved for New Harbor View Marine Location

The Orange Beach Planning Commission approved the site plan for construction of a new retail store location for Harbor View Marine Boat Sales.  The 1.17-acre property is located at the southeast corner of the intersection of Canal Rd. and Money Bayou Dr. This will replace the current location of the business next to Ace Hardware.


Baldwin County Commission Meeting – October 15, 2019

New Zoning Amendments for Ft. Morgan

The Baldwin County Commission voted to approve certain zoning amendments to Ft. Morgan.  The amendments were previously recommended by the Planning Commission at their September meeting.  The changes were made due to the unique and environmentally sensitive nature of the Ft. Morgan peninsula, and as a result of fire safety and parking concerns.  The changes 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).  The Ft. Morgan advisory committee was supportive of the amendments, as well as the Ft. Morgan Civic Association. 

County Commission Denies Dollar General Re-Zoning Request

The Baldwin County Commission voted unanimously to deny a request for 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.  The Commission heard complaints from neighboring property owners, as well as a petition signed by 380 residents who opposed the re-zoning.            


Orange Beach City Council Meeting – October 15, 2019

New Amenities Coming to Pandion Ridge

The Orange Beach City Council approved PUD modifications to the Pandion Ridge Master Plan.  The modifications will apply to 4.32 acres at the southeast corner of Canal Road and Eagle Way, at the entrance of the RV park.  Plans for the space include a recreation area that will be open to the public.  Amenities will include a mini-golf course with an operational building, rope course and climbing structure, and 6 batting cages which could also substitute as use for pickle ball, basketball, tennis, etc.  A total of 50 parking spaces are included for patrons of the recreation area.


Foley Planning Commission Meeting – October 16, 2019

Grand Riviera RV Resort Granted PUD Modification

The Foley Planning Commission approved a modification to an existing PUD for Grand Riviera RV Resort.  The future project is located south of County Road 20, west of James Rd.  The modification was approved in conjunction with a re-subdivision of the 38-acre property, which carved out a 4-acre parcel.  The 4 acres is being sold with possible future plans of developing a motel and mini-golf.  The modifications approved would allow for conditional use of those activities if they materialize.

Foley Housing Authority Being Upgraded

A re-zoning was recommended by the Foley Planning Commission to bring the Foley Housing Authority into the proper zoning classification in order to receive state funding.  The 16-acre property is located south of 2nd Ave., north of 9th Ave., west of Pine St., east of Oak St.  Currently the property is zoned R-A and R-3.  The proper zoning is PUD.  The change in zoning will bring the property into compliance with state and federal standards and allow for funding to be approved.  The funding will allow for replacement of the existing 40-year old properties.  The existing structures will be demolished in phases, and replaced with updated new units.

Foley Developments Receive Preliminary Approval

The Foley Planning Commission granted requests for preliminary approval to Ledgewick Phase 2A, which consists of 13.73 acres and 17 lots.  The property is located at the southeast corner of Perfection Rd. and Pecan St.  The applicant is Magnolia Land Company, Inc.

Preliminary approval was also granted to Parkside Subdivision, Phase 2.  The 27.33-acre property with 22 lots is located north of Cater Lee Rd., west of Hickory St.  The applicant is Stephen Lambert.


Gulf Shores Planning Commission Meeting – October 22, 2019

Craft Farms PUD Modification Approved

The Gulf Shores Planning Commission approved a favorable recommendation to the City Council for a modification to the Craft Farms PUD Master Plan.  The modification will add 13 single family lots to be known as Aberdeen Villas on 4.77 acres.  The new lots will abut Craft Farms Golf Course on the north.  Two points of ingress/egress are planned for Cotton Creek Dr.  Home plans will be 3,000 square feet, 3 bedroom/2bath, with an option of a second floor with an additional bedroom and bath.

Coastal Resort Properties Seeks Zone Change for 218-Acre Intracoastal Property 

The Gulf Shores Planning Commission voted to send a favorable recommendation to the City Council for a proposed re-zoning and PUD Master Plan for a 218-acre property located north of the Intracoastal Waterway and east of Waterway East Boulevard. The PUD Master Plan and zone change to BT-1N and PUD was to better align future development with the approved Army Corps of Engineers Intracoastal Waterway Environmental Impact Study (EIS).  The property was part of the EIS and was approved for 3,175 condo units, amenities such as swimming pools, tennis courts, and a clubhouse, approx. 27,000 square feet of retail and commercial space, 100 acres of green space, with parks, lakes, and boardwalks, and three marinas containing a total of 318 boat slips and 490 dry boat slips. The re-zoning and PUD Master Plan will reduce the amount of density allowed on the property by the existing zoning allowances and cap building heights to 4 stories for residential structures and 6 stories for commercial structures.


Daphne Planning Commission Meeting – October 24, 2019

Psychic Studio Planned for Hwy. 98 in Daphne

The Daphne Planning Commission hesitantly approved the location of a Psychic Studio in B-2-zoned property north of the intersection of Shriner Ave. and Hwy. 98 service road in Daphne.  The Commission conditioned the approval with a 12-month trial period, to end December of 2020.  After that time, the business will have to re-apply.

Plat Approved for Subdivision Development Along Hwy. 90

The Daphne Planning Commission approved the preliminary plat review of Eastwood Hills Subdivision, Phase I.  The development will be located east of Plantation Hills subdivision, along Hwy. 90, south of Yance Lane.  Phase I will have 40 single family lots.  A total of four phases are planned with a total of 160 lots at final buildout.  Access will be to Hwy. 90 on the northwest corner of the property.  Amenities will include a lake, walking trails, playground, and dog park. The property is currently un-zoned in Baldwin County, but remains in the Extra Territorial Jurisdiction of Daphne.  The subdivision will be zoned for the Loxley school system.