Alabama Gulf Coast August Local Government Report
Fairhope Planning Commission Meeting – August 3, 2020


Lot Division of Fish River Denied

The Fairhope Planning Commission denied a request for a 2-lot minor subdivision of .89-acres located on the east side of Ferry Rd., between Keeney Dr. and Ferry Rd. Circle.  The division of the lot to the proposed two lots, would result in less than the 100’ minimum lot width according to the subdivision regulations.  The request for a waiver of the minimum lot width was denied, as the Planning Commission did not find there was a reasonable hardship. 


Final Plat Approved for Hilltop Subdivision – Phase 1

The Fairhope Planning Commission gave final plat approval for Phase 1 of Hilltop Subdivision.  The 29-lot subdivision is located on the west side of South Section St., approximately 1,000 square feet south of County Road 44.  The 21.17-acre site is un-zoned and outside the city limits.  Phase 2 of the development received preliminary plat approval in March, and contains 8 lots, for a total of 37 lots in both phases.           
 

Baldwin County Commission Meeting – August 4, 2020

Re-Zoning Approved for Apartment Complex Along Hwy. 181 

The Baldwin County Commission approved a re-zoning request from Hathaway Development, LLC to re-zone a 23-acre parcel to HDR (high density residential).  The rezoning will allow for the development of a 270-unit apartment complex.  The property is located on the west side of Hwy. 181, outside Daphne.  The property is adjacent to an existing multi-family complex known as the Palladian.  It was disclosed that the same ownership of the Palladian is seeking this re-zoning.  The Baldwin County Planning Commission voted to recommend approval of the request to the Baldwin County Commission at their July meeting.   

Re-Zoning Approved for Landscaping Business Re-Location

The Baldwin County Commission approved the re-zoning of 13 acres located south of Hwy. 90, west of Bay Branch Estates.  The zoning will change from RSF-2 to RA.  The re-zoning will facilitate the re-location of a landscaping business on the property.


Baldwin County Planning Commission Meeting – August 6, 2020

Fairhope Motor Coach Resort Expanding

The Fairhope Motor Coach Resort, a class A upscale motorhome park, received final site plan approval for Phase II.  The Baldwin County Planning Commission granted the request for 12 additional sites, on a 5.07-acre parcel of un-zoned property adjacent to the existing resort.  This will bring the total number of sites to 57.  The property is located on the north side of Hwy. 104, just east of Higbee Rd., outside of Fairhope.  

Commercial Re-Zoning Sought for I-10 & Beach Express Quadrant

The Baldwin County Planning Commission heard a request from Merritt and Walding Properties, LLP to re-zone 19 acres from RA to B-4.  The property is located on the northeast quadrant of the I-10 and Baldwin Beach Express interchange, in the Loxley area.  The property is currently un-developed and is for sale.  There were tentative plans disclosed at the public meeting for an RV/camper dealership to locate on the property, but that is subject to change. 

Re-Zoning Requested West of Hwy.181 Corridor

The Baldwin County Planning Commission voted to recommend approval of a re-zoning request for property located on the north side of Milton Jones Rd, just west of Hwy. 181 in the Daphne area.  The .5-acre parcel is currently zoned RSF-E.  The estate of Inez Stots is requesting the zoning be changed to B-2 to allow for future commercial development.   No specific plans were provided.  While speculative re-zoning requests are generally disliked by the County, it was noted that the nature of this area has changed considerably and it is no longer reasonable to expect residential use of the location.  The recommendation will go to the County Commission for a final decision.                     
         

Orange Beach Planning Commission Meeting – August 10, 2020

Bear Point Lots Combined to Fix Non-Conformity Issue

The Orange Beach Planning Commission approved the combination of lots 558 and 559 of the Bear Point Estates Subdivision into a single lot.  The Property is located at 5360 Pensacola Ave. and is zoned RS-2.  A home currently sits on the property line and is non-conforming.  The owners are wanting to add a carport to the property.  This re-subdivision and combination of lots will bring the property into compliance. 

Wharf Seeks PUD Modification for Mini-Warehouse Storage Facility

The Orange Beach Planning Commission recommended approval of a PUD modification request to the Wharf PUD Master Plan.  The modification would allow the construction of a mini-warehouse storage facility containing four buildings and 130,000 square feet of gross floor area.   There would be no outdoor storage.  Units would be climate controlled and have an exterior frontage design of masonry and stucco.  The property is located on the east side of Wharf Parkway East, and southeast of the intersection of Wharf Parkway East and Wharf Lane.  The recommendation will move to the City Council for final approval.


Fairhope City Council Meeting – August 10, 2020

Fairhope City Council Approves Annexation Requests

The Fairhope City Council approved annexation requests for city-owned property at 560 South Section St.  Annexation was also approved for a 5-acre property to be known as Glines Subdivision with three proposed lots, located on Grace lake Rd.


Baldwin County Commission Meeting – August 18, 2020

Re-Zoning Request Denied for Mobile Home Park

The Baldwin County Commission voted to deny a request to re-zone 4.5 acres located at the northeast corner of the intersection of County Road 26 and Collins Lane, in Magnolia Springs.  The property is zoned RSF-1 and currently houses mobile homes which are grandfathered in as a non-conformity.  The property owner was seeking a re-zoning to RMH in order to bring the property into conformity and add additional mobile home units. 


Foley Planning Commission Meeting – August 19, 2020

119-Lot Kipling Meadows Subdivision Granted Preliminary Approval

The Foley Planning Commission granted preliminary approval for the Kipling Meadows Subdivision.  The property is located south of County Rd. 16, west of County Rd. 65.  There are 119 single family lots planned for the 36-acre property.  DR Horton is the builder.


Gulf Shores City Council Meeting – August 24, 2020

Gulf Shores Approves “Savings Clause” for Condos Re-Building After Disaster       

The Gulf Shores City Council approved amendments to the Zoning Ordinance to add a Savings Clause which would apply to certain non-conforming condominiums within the Beach Area Overlay Dist., Walking Area Overlay Dist., Lagoon Pass Overlay Dist.,  and would also amend the “Valuation of a Structure” section. A Savings Clause is a provision which allows a non-conforming structure to be rebuilt if destroyed by natural causes. The amendment would add language to allow legal non-conforming condominiums that have been destroyed to be reconstructed with the same number of units, even if current zoning rules would only allow for a smaller number. The clause would put a limit of 5 years to obtain a building permit from the date of destruction. The amendment only applies to density and gross floor area. All other rebuilding must comply with the current zoning ordinances and building codes. A study revealed that there are 29 non-conforming condominium developments in Gulf Shores.

Gulf Shores Limits Multi-Family in General Business Zoning Dist.  

The Gulf Shores City Council approved a recommendation to amend the zoning ordinance to limit multi-family developments on property zoned General Business (GB). Currently, multi-family developments are allowed by-right in GB zoning. The amendment change would only allow multi-family developments in GB zoning as a conditional use, which would require a conditional use permit approval. The move is being made to match the potential future build-out of the zoning with what the infrastructure can handle.
 

Gulf Shores Planning Commission Meeting – August 27, 2020

Proposals for Changes to Garage Setbacks & Raised Foundation Minimums Deferred

The Gulf Shores Planning Commission voted to defer a decision on proposed zoning text amendments which would establish new garage setback standards and modify minimum raised foundation standards.  

The proposed garage standards would apply to dwellings on platted or deeded lots recorded after 9-28-2020 and zoned R-1-4 and R-1-5. The driveways would be limited to 12 feet in width where they cross the front property line.  On smaller lots with less than 12,000 square feet, the garage placement would have to match one of five design options. If no garage is provided, the entirety of the primary parking pad would be located behind the front façade of the house. The proposed changes are meant to minimize the visual impact of the garages and diminish the garage as being a prominent feature.  It is also aimed to prevent parked vehicles extending into the pedestrian sidewalk areas.

The proposed Minimum Raised Foundation controls would apply to smaller lots with less than 12,000 square feet on platted or deeded lots recorded after 9-28-20 and zoned R-1-4 or R-1-5.  Under the new proposal the finished floor elevation would be a minimum of 18 inches higher than the highest point of finished grade within 10 feet of the foundation. 

The proposed changes were met with general opposition from the public and the development community. Criticism included additional costs of $10,000 to $15,000 per home added to the construction cost to elevate the foundation.  Such cost would likely be added to the sale price of the homes, which could price some people out of the market.  Concerns over handicap accessibility with raised foundations were also mentioned.  And, there was a question about development that has already been approved under the old rules and how this would apply to plans already approved that don’t meet the new proposed construction and design standards.
After a lengthy public hearing, the Gulf Shores Planning Commission voted to table the proposals with the recommendation that more though be taken on the issues raised and to gather more input from stakeholders. 


Waterways Cottage Subdivision Site Plan Approved

The Gulf Shores Planning Commission approved the site plan for The Waterways Cottage Subdivision.  The project is located in the 800 block of Waterway West Blvd. on a 20-acre site.  There are 60 single family lots planned with a gated entrance.  Conditional Use approval was also granted for a 44-slip marina, boat ramp, and trailer storage area.  These would be private amenities and not open to the public.


Daphne Planning Commission Meeting – August 27, 2020

Recommendation Denied for Re-Zoning Request

The Daphne Planning Commission voted to send a denial recommendation to the City Council for a re-zoning request for .46 acres located at the southwest corner of County Road 64 and Pollard Rd.  The property is currently zoned R-2.  The requested zoning was B-3 for a  life coaching office for troubled teenage girls.

*Information provided by BΛLDWIN REΛLTORS®