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Local Government Update – March 2022

Baldwin County Planning Commission Meeting – March 3, 2022

Plat Approved for 2-lot Division in Silverhill Area

The Baldwin County Planning Commission approved a 2-lot minor subdivision for property located near Silverhill at the northwest corner of West Blvd. and County Road 48. The property is being divided into two lots. Lot one will be 23.5 acres. Lot 2 will be 14.7 acres. No plans were disclosed for the property.

Fairhope City Council Meeting – March 4, 2022

Accessory Structure Rules Amended

The Fairhope City Council approved amendments to the accessory structure rules in an attempt to preserve historic one-story structures. On lots where the principal structure is one-story, an administrative approval will now be available to allow an accessory structure to be taller than the principal structure. But, in no case can the accessory structure be more than 5’ taller than the principal as measure from the tallest roof peak, with a maximum of 30’ for an accessory structure. City leaders hope this will lead to less teardowns of smaller structures.

Fairhope Planning Commission Meeting – March 8, 2022

Starbucks Site Plan Approved

The Fairhope Planning Commission approved the site plan for the new Starbucks coffee shop coming to the outparcel in front of the Big Lots shopping center. The design materials are primarily wood siding and stucco. The .7-acre property is located southeast of the intersection of Fairhope Ave. and Hwy. 98 in Fairhope. The location will front on Hwy. 98 and be south of the Wingfingers. The site is currently a paved parking lot with no landscaping. The property is zoned B-2.

Starbucks Site Rendering

Fairhope Urology Re-Locating to New Building

The Fairhope Planning Commission heard a site plan request for the construction of a new medical office building for Fairhope Urology. The 2-story brick building will be located on one unit of a 4-unit subdivided property on the west side of Hwy. 98, just south of Hoyle Ave. The 1.6-acre property is zoned B-2. The request was approved contingent upon a right only vehicular turn motion from Hoyle Ave. onto Hwy. 98.

Commercial Site Plan Approved for South Greeno Rd.

The Fairhope Planning Commission approved the site plan for Polo Crossing, a 5-unit multiple occupancy commercial project. The application was tabled last month over concerns about a heritage tree on the site. The revised plans include tree protection efforts to preserve the large heritage tree. The 1.7-acre property is located on the east side of Greeno Rd. (Hwy.98), just south of the Wolf Bayview funeral home. There are five commercial spaces, with Chicken Salad Chick and a coffee shop being future tenants.

Gulf Shores City Council Meeting – March 14, 2022

Multi-Family Re-Zoning and Annexation Approved

The Gulf Shores City Council approved a request to re-zone and annex a 9.2-acre property located at 19326 Oak Rd. West (County Rd. 6). The site currently houses a mobile home and RV park. When the case went before the Planning Commission last fall there were multiple objections from current tenants, many of whom have lived there for years, and feared being displaced. Since that time most of the residents have re-located and the trailers removed. The un-zoned property will now be zoned R-3. Plans for the property include developing 92 residential units which would be a mixture of townhomes and cottages. Two points of access are planned on Oak Rd. West. The draft illustrative master plan is depicted below.

County Road 6 Multi-Family Project

Venetian Isles Re-Zoning Approved to Protect Against Disaster

The Venetian Isles Condos located just off Gulf Shores Parkway on the south side of W. 6th Ave. petitioned the city for a change in zoning from R-2 to R-4. The condos were originally constructed around 1979 on three lots. Subsequent regulations and zoning passed by the city through the years has rendered this development out of compliance with current regulations. As it exists now it is a non-conforming use and a non-conforming structure, and it is not eligible for the savings clause. Thus, if the structure was to experience a catastrophic loss due to hurricane damage, fire, etc. they could not re-build a similar development. The requested zoning of R-4 would allow the re-building of at least 8 units on the property. There are currently 14 units. The R-4 zoning does not allow for short-term rentals. It is possible that existing short-term rentals could continue to be grandfathered. Any new short-term rental requests would have to petition for a conditional use permit under R-4 zoning.

Nearly $200 Million in Loans Secured for Gulf Shores Capital Funding

The Gulf Shores City Council voted to secure nearly $200 million in tax exempt loans for capital funding. The city is borrowing the money now to take advantage of lower interest rates which are starting to rise. The funds will be used for critical transportation, public safety, parks and recreation, school improvements, and other projects in the 10-year capital improvement plan. Some of the projects which will benefit from funds include:

  • Waterway East Blvd. Expansion – create a new connection from Hwy. 59 south of the airport to Cotton Creek Dr. and create a new entrance to the Gulf Shores airport.

Waterway Expansion Plans

  • Hwy. 59 Capacity Improvements – new 3rd southbound lane on Hwy. 59 starting at Coastal Gateway Blvd. to Ft. Morgan Rd.

  • Waterway Village Pedestrian Bridge – new pedestrian bridge to span the Intracoastal Waterway to connect near Lulu’s on the souths side to near Tacky Jack’s on the north side. The pedestrian access on W.C. Holmes Bridge will be eliminated to make a new 3rd southbound lane addition to Hwy. 59.

Rendering of Pedestrian Bridge

  • County Rd. 6 West Improvements – widen County Road 6 West to include additional westbound and eastbound lanes.

  • Beach Walking Dist. Improvements – new roadways, sidewalks, landscaping, on-street parking, street lighting and stormwater infrastructure in the Beach Walking Dist.

In addition to the above improvements there are plans for a new Justice Center to replace the 38-year-old facility, a new fire training facility, the creation of the Coastal Gateway Community Park for residents north of the ICW, additions to the Gulf Shores Middle and Elementary School, and a new Gulf Shores High School.

Proposed Community Park

Baldwin County Commission Meeting – March 15, 2022

Commercial Re-Zoning Approved Near Daphne

The Baldwin County Commission gave final approval for the re-zoning of 4.69 acres. The property is located on the north side of County Road 64 and east of Pollard Rd. at 8127 County Road 64. The re-zoning will change the property from RSF-2 to B-2. No proposed use was disclosed at this time. Owners sought the change to make the property more marketable with the highest and best use. The recent development of the area is trending away from residential to more commercial in nature.

Orange Beach City Council Meeting – March 15, 2022

Orange Beach Council Votes for Form City School System

The Orange Beach City Council voted to break away from the Baldwin County Board of Education and form their own city school system. The vote came with little prior notice that the item would be on the meeting agenda. The city is now in talks with the BCBE to work out the details of a separation agreement which will include payment to the BCBE for its share of the school building facilities. The city is hoping to have the septation agreement completed prior to the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year. A 3% increase in the city lodging tax is planned to fund the school system.

Foley Planning Commission Meeting – March 16, 2022

Race Trac Gas Station Coming to Beach Express

The Foley Planning Commission approved the site plan for a Race Trac gas station and convenience store. The property is located at the southeast corner of the Foley Beach Express and County Road 28. When complete it will operate 24 hours daily.

Gulf Shores Planning Commission Meeting – March 22, 2022

Final Plat Approved for Stonehaven Subdivision

The final plat was approved by the Gulf Shores Planning Commission for Stonehaven residential subdivision. The 41-acre property is located north of County Road 8 West, between Viola Road and Grund Lane. There are 82 single family residential lots planned for the development.

Stonehaven Plat

Private Overflow Parking Lot Seeks Approval

The Gulf Shores Planning Commission heard a request for a conditional use permit for a proposed private overflow parking lot to be located at 19826 W. 36th Ave. The .9-acre property is located in the northwest part of the city, and zoned BA. A 51-space paid parking lot is proposed to help ease the parking constraints from condos, special events, and future airport traffic. The planning commission voted to approve the request.

Site Plan Approved for Townhome Development

The Gulf Shores Planning Commission approved the site plan for Palmetto Ridge. The 17-unit townhome development will be located at 320 W. Ft. Morgan Rd. The approval did not fall within the current moratorium on multi-family and townhome developments because this application was filed prior to the enactment of the moratorium, and it was being reviewed as a PUD.

Daphne Planning Commission Meeting – March 24, 2022

Gas Station Approved Outside Daphne

The Daphne Planning Commission approved a convenience store/gas station to be located at the northeast corner of County Road 13 and Lawson Road/Champions Way. The 3.5-acre property is zoned B-2(A). The use of a gas station was approved for the zoning class contingent upon the developer completing all improvements outlined in the traffic study.

Gulf Shores City Council Meeting – March 28, 2022

Funding Approved for Design Engineering of Gulf Shores Schools

The Gulf Shores City Council approved funding for initial design engineering and project management services for an 8-room addition to the existing Gulf Shores Elementary School. Money was also appropriated for preliminary design engineering and project management work for a new Gulf Shores High School. The new High School is planned on a portion of a 200-acre city owned site on the southwest corner of Beach Express and Coastal Gateway Blvd.

Conceptual Plans for Gulf Shores High School


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