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Local Government Update – June 2023

Fairhope Planning Commission Meeting – June 5, 2023


Plans for Historic Property Tabled for Now

The Fairhope Planning Commission ultimately tabled a request for preliminary and final plat at the request of the applicant.The property at issue is located at the northeast corner of Fairhope Ave. and North Bayview St.There is currently a large historic home on the site.The home sits on two historic lots of record totaling approximately .4 acres.The applicant sought to combine both lots into one and create four condominium lots with the intention of demolishing the historic home and building four single-family homes.The site has been the subject of a previous informal request in December of 2021 for a 39-unit hotel.Those plans never materialized.

Proposed site at corner of Fairhope Ave. & N. Bayview St.


Daphne City Council Meeting – June 5, 2023


Re-Zoning and Annexation of New Soccer Complex

The Daphne City Council approved the zoning and annexation of 10.3 acres located northwest of Well Rd. and County Road 13. The property was zoned RSF-2 by Baldwin County. The zoning will change to C-2 (outdoor Amusement) and be annexed into the City of Daphne. The property will house recreational soccer fields.


Baldwin County Planning Commission Meeting – June 6, 2023


Two Mobile Home Parks Approved in Silverhill Area

The Baldwin County Planning Commission approved the site plans for two mobile home parks in the Silverhill area. Sunset Ridge Mobile Home Park was approved for a 44-unit development west of Silverhill along Hwy. 104. Also, the Palm Park West Mobile Home Park was approved for a 14-unit development east of South Blvd., west of an existing mobile home park.


231-Unit RV Park Planned for Foley Area

The Baldwin County Planning Commission gave approval for the Club RV Park. The 231-unit RV Park is planned south of Brinks Willis Rd., north of Keller Rd., and west of the Foley Beach Express. The 54.7-acre property is zoned RA and is currently vacant.


Orange Beach City Council Meeting – June 6, 2023


Approval Granted for Villagio Grille Expansion at Wharf

The Orange Beach City Council voted to approve a minor amendment to the Wharf PUD. The Villagio Grille received approval to remove eight parking spaces outside the restaurant. The removal will allow for the expansion of an outdoor seating area. Approval was also granted to install a free-standing canopy over the seating area which will measure approximately 60’ W x 25’ D x 12’ H.

Orange Beach Planning Commission Meeting – June 12, 2023


CoastAL Employee Parking Approved

The Orange Beach Planning Commission approved the site plan to construct a private gravel parking lot at 3150 Orange Beach Blvd., north of the Walgreens store. The private lot will provide parking for employees of the CoastAL restaurant complex. There are 112 parking spaces planned with sidewalk connectivity to the existing sidewalks along Hwy. 161. Entry to the lot will require gated credential access.


Orange Beach City Hall Expanding

The site plan was approved by the Orange Beach City Planning Commission for the construction of a new Finance Department addition. The 6,300 square foot addition will be added to the south side of City Hall. It will serve as offices for the Finance Department. The property is located at 4099 Orange Beach Blvd., and zoned (GOV) Governmental Use zoning district.


Orange Beach High School Adding Sports Facilities

The Orange Beach Planning Commission approved the site plan to construct a new field house and covered batting cages. The Orange Beach High School baseball and softball teams will be gaining a 4,700 square foot field house and a 13,000 square foot covered batting cage facility. The additions will be located at the Orange Beach Sportsplex at 4389 William Silvers parkway.


Spanish Fort Planning Commission Meeting – June 12, 2023


Coffee Shop Drive-up Window Debated

The Spanish Fort Planning Commission voted to approve a request for a coffee shop with a drive-thru window to be located at 7635 Spanish Fort Blvd. The Soul Caffeine coffee shop sought the approval for a Spanish Fort location. They currently have a location in Daphne also. The Planning Commission had to vote on a determination of use application to decide whether a coffee shop fits the definition of café, and whether it would be allowed to have a drive-thru window. The property is in the B-2 zoning dist. which allows a café by right but is silent on a coffee shop. The Planning Commission decided that the use was analogous to a café and that a drive-thru window would be allowed on the Ember Lane side of the building.


Fairhope City Council Meeting – June 12, 2023


Re-Zoning Approved for Greeno Rd.

The Fairhope City Council gave final approval for the re-zoning of 4 parcels totaling 3.5 acres. The property is located on each side of the entrance to Huntington Woods, off Greeno Rd., south of Fairhope. One parcel is located north of Farringdon Blvd. and the others are south of Farringdon Blvd. The were no immediate plans disclosed for development of the parcels. The parcels which are currently zoned R-1 will be re-zoned to HTD (Highway Transition Dist.) zoning. The intent of the HTD Dist. Is to provide alternatives to properties along state highways in the city that are beyond areas of influence of the Village Nodes and Commercial Nodes as contemplated by the Comprehensive Plan. The HTD Zoning Dist. Requires a minimum 100’ frontage on a state highway.


Baldwin County Commission Meeting – June 20, 2023


Two Re-Zonings Receive Final Approval from County

The Baldwin County Commission gave final approval to the re-zoning of 3 acres in the Elberta area. The vacant property is located east of County Road 95. The zoning is changing from B-3 to RR for the purpose of using the location for a contractor yard for forestry related equipment storage.

The Baldwin County Commission also approved the re-zoning of 1.56 acres south of Fairhope. The property located at 19089 Leonard Vaughn Lane is being re-zoned from RSF-1 to B-2 for the purpose of parking expansion for the Los Tacos restaurant.

Orange Beach City Council Meeting- June 20, 2023


Orange Beach Halts Issuance of New Business Licenses for Commercial Marine Vessels

The Orange Beach City Council enacted a 6-month moratorium on the issuance of new business licenses for commercial marine vessels and other marine activities. The city requires commercial vessels to obtain a business license to operate within the City of Orange Beach and its Police Jurisdiction. The city defines commercial vessels as any vessel used for any commercial purpose, including but not limited to charter fishing, charter boating, sightseeing, parasailing, dolphin cruises, water taxi, or other commercial activity on the waters. Reasons cited for enactment of the moratorium include compromised personal safety and increased pressure on natural resources. There have also been issues with insurance compliance, boat access points being crowded by commercial vessels, and business operating out of residential neighborhoods.

Foley Planning Commission Meeting – June 21, 2023


Helicopter Rides Planned at OWA

The Foley Planning Commission approved a Use Modification to the OWA development that would allow the construction of a Tourist Helipad to support the addition of tourist helicopter rides. The request was granted on the condition that there be no helicopter operation prior to 12:30 p.m. on Sundays. Regular operating hours will be between 10:00 a.m. and sunset on all other days. Flights are expected to take tourists on a route that would extend south towards the beach areas, and a short route that would fly over the OWA property. Operators stated the helicopter runs on a piston engine which produces less sound. During peak times there are 25-40 flights per day anticipated.

Re-Zoning Requested for Sherwood Subdivision Phase 3

The Foley Planning Commission gave a favorable recommendation for the re-zoning of 11.7 acres. The property is located west of S. Hickory St., south of W. Michigan Ave. The property is adjacent to Sherwood Subdivision. Developers are seeking to complete the subdivision by adding Phase 3, with 50 residential units planned. The property is currently zoned B-2 (Neighborhood Business). The proposed zoning is R-1C to be consistent with the zoning of several subdivisions on the west side of Hickory St. in this area.

Gulf Shores Planning Commission Meeting – June 27, 2023


Denial Recommendation for Baldwin County Sewer Service Expansion

The Gulf Shores Planning Commission reviewed a request for a Conditional Use Permit and Site Plan from the Baldwin County Sewer Service (BCSS) Ft. Morgan facility located at 16763 Hwy. 181. In 1986 BCSS constructed the plant on what was un-zoned property at the time. In 2011 the property was legislatively annexed into the City of Gulf Shores and automatically zoned R-1-4. The wastewater treatment facility became a non-conforming use as a result. In May of 2022 the City issued a cease-and-desist notice to BCSS for the construction of a new sludge pond without a permit along the eastern property line to store liquid sludge. BCSS is now seeking a Conditional Use Permit to expand capacity by converting a 650,000-gallon tank from sludge processing to sewage treatment and utilize the sewage treatment capacity of both existing tanks. This would increase the amount of sewage treated and the capacity of sewage currently permitted. They requested to maintain the pond for storing liquid sludge.


City staff recommended denial to the Planning Commission saying that the expansion was not necessary to service the needs of Gulf Shores. The city provided a map showing the service area of BCSS in pink (see below). Much of the expansion of the service area has occurred outside of the City of Gulf Shores. The city also cited prior ADEM violations at the facility and risk of groundwater and surface water pollution as well as impacts to surrounding properties.


After a lengthy public hearing The Planning Commission voted to send a denial recommendation to the City Council, and added a requirement to remove the sludge pond that was built without a permit and remediate the area with sod and trees.

Photo of Un-Permitted Expansion


Gulf Shores City Staff Response & Service Area Map

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