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Local Government Update – December 2023

Fairhope Planning Commission Meeting – December 4, 2023


Approval Recommended for Duplexes in Fairhope

The Fairhope Planning Commission gave a favorable recommendation for a PUD (Planned Unit Development) concurrent with annexation into the city.  The 5.3 acres are located at 8437 Gayfer Rd. Ext.  A preliminary plan calls for 20 duplex units in 10 buildings. 


Orange Beach City Council Meeting – December 5, 2023


Orange Beach Restricts RVs as Residences

The Orange Beach City Council voted to approve an amendment to the zoning ordinance that will restrict the use of an RV as sleeping quarters unless the property is zoned for RVs.  The measure is intended to prohibit RVs from being used as short term rentals on property that is not zoned as an RV park.  The amendment will not prohibit the storage of an unoccupied RV.  An exception is allowed for an occupied RV being used by the owner of the property if they are building on the property and then, only up to 6 months.  This exception must be tied to an active building permit and on the same property as the construction permit.


Baldwin County Planning Commission Meeting – December 7, 2023


Commercial Re-Zoning Sought

The Baldwin County Planning Commission gave a favorable recommendation for the re-zoning of 2.1 acres from RA to B-2.  The property is located on the north side of Hwy. 104 just east of Hwy. 181 and across the highway from 3 Circle Church in Fairhope.  No specific plans were made public for the site.  Any further development will require site plan approval.

RV Park Approved

The Baldwin County Planning Commission gave approval for the Farm East RV Park.  The 35.4-acre property is located on the southeast side of County Road 6, northwest of Old Plash Island Rd., and adjacent to the Gulf Shores corporate limits.  There are 94 RV sites planned.  The approval was contingent upon improvements to County Road 6 by adding a left turn lane at the RV Park entrance and widening County Road 6 to 24’ for 300’ in each direction of the entrance.


Spanish Fort Planning Commission Meeting – December 11, 2023


Commercial Space Approved in Spanish Fort

The Spanish Fort Planning Commission approved the site plan for new commercial space on Spanish Fort Blvd.  The 1.17-acre property is located at 7816 Spanish Fort Blvd.  Three units are planned for the 5,500 square feet of commercial office and retail space.  Access will be from Hwy. 31 and will include 50 parking spaces.


Orange Beach Planning Commission Meeting – December 11, 2023


Turquoise Place North Re-Zoning Recommended for Approval

The Orange Beach Planning Commission gave a favorable recommendation to the City Council for the re-zoning of two parcels.  On the north side of Perdido Beach Blvd there is an 18.5-acre parcel currently zoned RM-2 at 26303 Perdido Beach Blvd.   On the south side of Perdido Beach Blvd. there is a 1.2-acre parcel on the beachfront which is zoned RS-1 at 26302 Perdido Beach Blvd.  Developers have requested to re-zone both parcels to PUD (Planned Unit Development). 

Plans for the north parcel include a 7-story condo building that would house 90 units.  The first floor would include parking, lobby, and a tackle shop.  The second floor would be residential, with a pool, spa, and meeting facility.  Floors 3 through 7 would be residential.  Developers are planning 382 parking spaces with an additional 41 spaces for RV and boat trailers.  There are also 90 boat slips on Cotton Bayou which would be used by condo owners.  Short term rentals would be allowed.

Plans for the 1.2-acre parcel on the south beachside include a 2-unit beach house.  Each unit would house 6 bedrooms.  The four floor building would be 65 feet in height and offer an outdoor swimming pool.

The favorable recommendation was approved contingent upon the sale and closing of land transfer between the City of Orange Beach and the land developer as part of a proposed settlement to litigation.

North PUD Rendering


Site Plan Approved for Emerald Coast Carpet Cleaning

The Orange Beach Planning Commission approved the site plan for Emerald Coast Carpet Cleaning business.  Plans include the construction of a single-story 3,600 square foot building that will serve as the office for Emerald Coast Carpet Cleaning.  The property is located at 4395 Canal Square Lane.  There are 22 parking spaces planned to complement the Hardie board and batten building.


Site Plan Approved for New Gas Station

The Orange Beach Planning Commission approved the site plan for a new gas station and convenience store.  The property is located at 26787 Canal Rd. in the General Business zoning district. The lot has double frontage on both Magnolia Ave. and Canal Rd.  The two points of vehicular access would both be on Canal Rd.  A Shell franchise is the planned occupant. 


Gulf Shores Planning Commission Meeting – December 12, 2023


Gulf Shores Beach Overlay Dist. Expanding

The Gulf Shores Planning Commission approved a zoning ordinance amendment that will expand the boundaries of the Beach Area Overlay Dist. The Beach Area Overlay Dist. was created in 2005 to encourage property development which maintains the unique characteristics of the beach area as envisioned by the Future Land Use Plan.  The Beach Area Overlay Dist. was applied to the Tourist Business Zoning Districts along Gulf Shores Parkway that were in place in 2005.  When the Beach Tourist Zoning Dist. was expanded northward, the overlay Dist. was not expanded with it.  The northward expansion of the Beach Area Overlay Dist. will now include properties zoned BT-1-N located north of W. 5th Ave. and having frontage on Gulf Shores Parkway.

The Beach Area Overlay Dist. is intended to provide suitable locations for walkable, mixed-use developments consisting of hotels, condos, multiple-family dwellings, and compatible commercial uses that provide residents and tourists with services, conveniences, and amenities.

The Beach Area Overlay Dist. creates an incentive-based overlay that incentivizes new development in the dist. to voluntarily achieve extra units, height, or floor area by providing certain public benefits.  Property owners may choose to provide beach access, public parking, or cash contributions for public amenities in exchange for additional intensity.

The new northward expansion will include 30 additional properties and 11 acres of land.  The expansion area is depicted in blue on the map below.

Gulf Shores Beach Overlay Dist. Expansion


Veterinary Hospital Site Plan Approved

The Gulf Shores Planning Commission approved the site plan for a new 12,384 square foot veterinary hospital.  The 4.5-acre property is located along the west side of the 6800 block of Hwy. 59 and is currently vacant and heavily wooded.  Langston Animal Hospital has plans to expand and re-locate on the site. Upon completion the facility will house 6 doctors, 30 staff, 15 treatment rooms, 2 surgery rooms, intensive care, X-rays/CT room, pharmacy, kennel, offices, retail space, and a waiting room.

South Baldwin Christian Academy Expanding

A site plan was approved by the Gulf Shores Planning Commission for a 7-room addition to the South Baldwin Christian Academy.  The property is located at 6900 State Hwy. 59.  The new classroom building will total 7,540 square feet.  An open 120’ x 265’ grass play field is also planned for the site.


Baldwin County Commission Meeting – December 19, 2023 


Two Re-Zoning Applications Denied by County Commission

The Baldwin County Commission denied a re-zoning for 8.8 acres.  The property is located on the east side of the Baldwin Beach Express, and south of I-10.  The property is currently zoned RSF-E.  A zoning of B-4 was requested.  The applicant expressed a desire to operate an RV park on the rear of the property and office space near the front. 


The Baldwin County Commission also denied the re-zoning of 6.1 acres near Lillian.  The property is located north of Barclay Ave. and west of 7th St. at 3445 Barclay Ave., Lillian. Owners were seeking to change the zoning from RSF-E to RA for the purpose of operating a farmer’s market to grow and sell organic blueberries and hoped to expand to vegetables, eggs, honey and fresh flowers.

Both re-zonings had received a favorable recommendation from the Baldwin County Planning Commission at their November meeting.


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