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Local Government Update – March 2023

Orange Beach City Council Meeting – March 1, 2023


Changes to Size of Residential Real Estate Signs in Orange Beach

The Orange Beach City Council gave final approval to changes to the Zoning Amendments that will apply to temporary real estate signs. The changes will impose new size guidelines on residential real estate signs in single-family residential zoned areas or existing residential land uses. The allowable size for residential real estate signs will be determined based on the road frontage of the lot. For corner lots and through lots a sign will be allowed on each road frontage. The sign face area will be determined by the corresponding road frontage upon which the sign is placed See below table:


For new subdivisions containing single-family and duplex lots, a residential real estate sign to advertise new lots for sale will be allowed in the common area near the entrance into the subdivision. The size of this sign shall not exceed 48 square feet total and 24 square feet per sign face (4’ by 6’). This will not restrict individual lots in new subdivisions from having a 2’ by 2’ sign.




Romar Beach Hotel PUD Reviewed Again

The Romar Beach Hotel PUD was again seeking approval from the city. The project received approvals back in August of 2021, but those plans expired in August of 2022 without an extension. Since that time plans to construct a hotel on the property located at 23370 Perdido Beach Blvd., the former Romar Baptist Church, have changed slightly. The Orange Beach Planning Commission and City Council have now given approval to the current PUD plan to re-zone 1.8 acres from RM-2 (Multi-Family Residential High Density) to PUD (Planned Unit Development) for the purpose of converting the existing building into a hotel. The Marriot Management Company is proposing an AC Retreat hotel from their line of hotels, a departure from their Loft line of hotel originally planned. The new design eliminates the pool and adds a rooftop bar for hotel guests. The 76-room hotel would provide 127 beds in traditional hotel room layouts. The development would be a total of six floors: first floor parking, second floor parking and lobby, with three levels of hotel rooms, and a rooftop bar level. There are 95 parking spaces planned for guests. The management company has plans to shuttle employees to and from work to off-site parking areas.




Baldwin County Planning Commission Meeting – March 2, 2023


Re-Zoning Sought for Equine Rehabilitation Facility

The Baldwin County Planning Commission gave a favorable recommendation for a re-zoning request from RSF-1 to RA. The 24-acre property is located on the southwest corner of Boros Rd. and Gardner Rd. in the Elberta area. The re-zoning is sought to use the property as an equine rehabilitation facility.


95-Lot RV Park Approved for Foley Area

The Baldwin County Commission approved the site plan for the Viajar RV Park. The 10-acre property is zoned RV-1 and B-4. The site is located north of Brinks Willis Rd., east of Hwy 59 and west of the Foley Beach Express. There are 95 RV pads planned with amenities including a clubhouse, pool, pavilion, and pickleball courts.


Romar Beach Renderings


Fairhope Planning Commission Meeting – March 6, 2023


2-Lot Minor Subdivision Sought in Bluff Area

The Fairhope Planning Commission gave approval for a 2-lot minor subdivision of property located in the bluff area of Fairhope. The .59-acre property is located at the northeast corner of Bayview St. and Blakeney Ave. at 350 N. Bayview. The property is zoned R-2.


Preliminary Plat Approval for Bishop Road Complex

The Fairhope Planning Commission voted to approve a request from Olde Towne Investments, LLC for the preliminary plat for Dragonfly Commons, a 7-unit multiple occupancy project. The project previously received approvals in June of 2020 but never made it to the final plat. In 2020 the request came from Provision Investments, LLC. The 1.08-acre property is located on the west side of Bishop Rd., just north of Gayfer Rd. There is a total of 7 residential units planned for the site with two buildings and 22 parking spaces. Each unit will have a single car garage.



Orange Beach Planning Commission Meeting – March 13, 2023


Modifications Recommended for Wharf Main Street Addition

Developers of the Wharf are seeking approval for a major PUD modification to the Wharf Planned Unit Development. The Planning Commission gave a favorable recommendation to modifications which would add multiple commercial buildings with over 34,000 square feet of leasable space along with nearly 16,000 square feet of lawn and assembly areas. The additions would be located southwest of the roundabout at the intersection of Main St. and Wharf Lane. Photo renderings of the design are below.


Renderings of Wharf Modifications



Spanish Fort Planning Commission Meeting – March 13, 2023


Commercial Site Plans Approved for Spanish Fort

The Spanish Fort Planning Commission approved several commercial site plans at their March meeting. The Baldwin Bone & Joint is constructing a new doctor’s office at 10701 Eastern Shore Blvd. A 10,300 square foot building is planned with vehicular access from Eastern Shore Blvd.


A site plan was approved for Wolfe Funeral Home at 6470-B Spanish Fort Blvd. The existing building is being renovated to accommodate a funeral home.


A site plan was approved for Longleaf Recovery, a new wellness and rehab center. A 7,000 square foot building is being planned for 1000 Town Center Ave.


A site plan was also approved for the construction of a Wells Fargo free-standing ATM. The ATM will be located in the parking area behind the Belk store at 30500 State Hwy. 181.


Commercial Re-Zonings Recommended for Approval in Spanish Fort

The Spanish Fort Planning Commission recommended the approval of two re-zoning applications at their March meeting. These recommendations will move to the City Council for final approval. A re-zoning was recommended for two parcels totaling 1.3 acres. The property is located at 0 Old Mobile Rd. The property is currently zoned R-1. The requested zoning is B-3 to allow for future office space for a roofing contractor.


A recommendation was also made for the re-zoning of 2.1 acres located at 01284 Hwy. 31. The property is currently zoned R-1. B-1 zoning is sought for the development of an orthodontist office.


Baldwin County Commission Meeting – March 21, 2023


Proposed 80-Lot Subdivision in Lillian Denied by County Commission

The Baldwin County Commission heard a request for the re-zoning of 29.2 acres on the north side of Hwy. 98, east of County Road 91 in the Lillian area. The proposal was met with sharp criticism from neighboring residents. Developers had sought to re-zone the property from B-4 to RSF-2 with plans to develop an 80-lot residential subdivision. DR Horton, the proposed builder, was planning 1500 – 2500 square foot homes with 13 acres of common area in the development to be named Timberland Trace. Residents in the area had concerns over density, lack of infrastructure, utilities, traffic congestion, and drainage/flooding problems. The Commissioners voted 2-2 on the re-zoning request. A tie vote functions as a denial. There is also an active pending application for a 206-lot RV Park on the site, which could be pursued as an alternative for the property.


Timberland Trace Proposed Site Layout



Orange Beach City Council Meeting – March 21, 2023


Re-Zoning Approved for Residential Beach Development

The Orange Beach City Council voted to approve a beachfront re-zoning request. The 1.8-acre property is located at 26480 Perdido Beach Blvd. The property is currently zoned RS-1 (Single-Family Residential). The applicant sought PUD (Planned Unit Development) zoning. The re-zoning is sought to develop 2 duplexes and 3 single family homes, which would have a total of 31 bedrooms. The three single family homes would have 5 bedrooms per house. The two duplexes would have 4 bedrooms per unit (8 bedrooms per duplex building). The property is directly to the east of the 4-story parking addition under construction at Turquoise Place.


Three T’s Restaurant Approval for Canal Road

The Orange Beach Planning Commission heard a second request for the approval of Three T’s Restaurant and Warehouse. In January the city voted to deny a re-zoning request for a 5.2-acre property located at 25432 Canal Road between Bayside Estates and Sunset Villas Subdivisions. The property is zoned GB (General Business). At that time developers were requesting a PUD. After that denial the plans were modified. Now the application has come back requesting conditional use approval under the original zoning of GB. Current plans for the property include the construction of a 7,300 square foot restaurant and a 20,800 square foot warehouse. The Planning Commission voted to send a favorable recommendation to the City Council. The City Council gave final approval to the project at their 3-21-23 meeting.


Site of Proposed Restaurant and Warehouse


Lot Division Approved to Facilitate Future Auburn Development

The Orange Beach Planning Commission approved the subdivision of 3.5 acres located on the west side of Walker Ave. into two lots. The property is zoned MR (Marine Resort) The division is sought to facilitate a joint venture consortium between the City of Orange Beach and Auburn University. An engineering research center is planned for the site which is being funded in part by RESTORE Act funds. Construction is expected to begin in February of 2024.


Baldwin County Planning Commission Special Meeting - March 23, 2023


Draft Guide to Growth Recommended for Approval

The Baldwin County Planning Commission held a special meeting to review the latest draft of the Citizen’s Guide to Growth in Baldwin County and voted to send a favorable recommendation to the County Commission for adoption of the document. The document has been the topic of several public and stakeholder meetings. If given final approval by the County Commission the document will act as a guide for development within the zoned areas of Baldwin County and provide review factors for use during the evaluation of re-zoning applications. It will also serve as a guide for future policy recommendations within the zoning ordinance and subdivision regulations. The document can be viewed here https://www.baldwinourvision.com/.

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