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Local Government Update – November 2023

Baldwin County Planning Commission Meeting – November 2, 2023

 Commercial Park in Bay Minette Approved

The Baldwin County Planning Commission gave preliminary plat approval to the Shipp Road Industrial Park. The 107-acre parcel is located at the end of Shipp Rd., off Rabun Rd. (Hwy. 287). The un-zoned property is near the Novelis site. A 22-lot commercial or industrial park is planned.

 Re-Zoning Sought Along Baldwin Beach Express

The Baldwin County Planning Commission voted to recommend 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 is being requested. The applicant expressed a desire to operate an RV park on the rear of the property and office space near the front. The recommendation will now proceed to the County Commission for a final vote on the re-zoning.

 Re-Zoning Recommended for Farmers Market in Lillian

The Baldwin County Planning Commission gave a favorable recommendation for 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 are seeking to change the zoning from RSF-E to RA for the purpose of operating a farmer’s market. They intend to grow and sell organic blueberries and hope to expand to vegetables, eggs, honey and fresh flowers.

Fairhope Planning Commission Meeting – November 6, 2023
Development Proposed for South Fairhope

The Fairhope Planning Commission heard an informal review of a proposed development “South Section Village”. The 57-acre property is located on the east side of Section St. across from the Hill Top Subdivision. It would also touch a portion of the south side of Twin Beech Rd. Developers are proposing a unique concept design which would be a “pocket neighborhood”. The conceptual plans showed clusters of cottages fronting a common green space. A variety of home designs would be incorporated into the neighborhood with a focus on front porches, rear-loaded driveways, and a walkable community. Home designs would vary throughout the development and several examples were displayed before the Planning Commission. Amenities would include a pool, fitness area, pickle ball, and playground. The homes would range from 1,200 square feet to 1,800 square feet. There would be an entrance on Section St. directly across from Hill Top and another entrance on Twin Beech Rd. Current plans call for over 200 homes. The site is currently outside the city limits, but developers expressed an interest in annexation. The presentation before the Planning Commission was only an informal review and no action was taken. There were concerns among the Commission about wetlands and soil composition as well as infrastructure strains.

Orange Beach City Council Meeting – November 7, 2023

Minor Amendment Approved for Culver’s

The Orange Beach City Council approved a minor amendment to the Wharf PUD for the new Culver’s restaurant. The amendment will allow for the addition of a 1,200 square foot outdoor seating area facing Canal Rd. There will also be a canopy added to cover the outdoor seating area.

Fairhope City Council Meeting – November 13, 2023
Re-Zoning Approved in Central Business District

The Fairhope City Council approved a re-zoning request for property located at 491 and 493 Pine Ave. The .15-acre property is within the Central Business District. The zoning will change from B-4 to B-3(a). The property was previously a condo duplex called the Ruchery. Owners intend to keep the structure as a duplex. With the newly approved B-3(a) zoning the property will now be in compliance and allow for short-term rentals.

Gulf Shores Planning Commission Meeting – November 14, 2023
The Village at Bright’s Creek Approved

The Gulf Shores Planning Commission approved the preliminary subdivision plat for The Village at Bright’s Creek.The request to subdivide 7 parcels into 76 residential lots was approved.The 43.8-acre property is located along Oak Rd. West and is adjacent to the Gulf Shores City Sportsplex.The east side of the property is zoned R-3 and the west side of the property is zoned R-1-4.Several prior proposals have been made for the property which at one time included a mixture of townhomes and single family lots.The plans were later revised to remove townhomes and reduce the number of single family lots.Two access points will be located on Oak Rd. West., which is slated for future expansion.

Family Dollar Coming to Gulf Shores

The Gulf Shores Planning Commission approved the preliminary subdivision plat to divide 1 lot into 2 lots. The Property is located at 3863 Gulf Shores Parkway. The BA zoned site will house a future 10,500 square foot Family Dollar store.

Plans Approved for Gulf Shores Municipal Sports Center

Plans for the construction of a 36,000 square foot multipurpose sports facility were approved by the Gulf Shores Planning Commission. The 6.5-acre property is located at 19025 Oak Rd. West. The City and Pleasure Island Volleyball Club, LLC will operate the athletic facility. There are 7 outdoor sand volleyball courts planned with an indoor flex/gym recreational space that can accommodate up to 4 indoor volleyball or basketball courts as well.

 Baldwin County Commission Meeting – November 21, 2023
New Planning Dist. 14 Approved

The Baldwin County Commission gave approval for the local provisions of the newly created Planning Dist. 14. The Dist. is generally located east of Fish River and west of Summerdale. (see map below). On June 6th of this year citizens of the district voted to come into County Zoning. After the election a series of advisory meetings were held with residents to draft local provisions that would govern Dist. 14. Most of the provisions will mirror common provisions in other zoned areas of Baldwin County. Below are new provisions that will apply in Dist. 14.

  • When a Traffic Impact Study is required, in addition to intersections identified by the County Engineer’s designee, the Applicant shall, at a minimum, study the first intersection of a collector (or higher) and arterial in each feasible travel direction within three miles of a proposed development’s access points to the maintained road system.

  • Animal Husbandry will be permitted in residential districts less than 3 acres and in Base Community Zoning less than 3 acres so long as the underlying parcel meets the following minimum acreage requirements:

  • Duplexes are allowed on vacant parcels that are one-acre or greater and zoned either Base Community Zoning (BCZ), Rural Agriculture (RA), or a Residential Dist. under Article 4. One duplex shall be permitted by right, with no additional primary or accessory dwelling units.

  • Activity Nodes are established at certain locations. Zoning requests are restricted based on proximity to nodes and some zoning classifications restricted entirely. See below chart:

 Tiny House Development Receives Final Approval

The Baldwin County Commission gave final approval to the re-zoning and site plan request for a tiny house development. The 11.6-acre property is located south of County Road 54 and west of Hill Rd., in the Silverhill area. Developers sought to change the zoning from RA to RSF-1 to accommodate a 15-lot tiny home community to be used for short term rentals. The tiny homes will have a square footage of 652 sq each. Currently the County does not regulate short term rentals. The Planning Commission voted to send a favorable recommendation to the County Commission at their October meeting.

*Information provided by BALDWIN REALTORS®