City buys 7.5 acres for future connector between Coastal Gatewood Blvd. & County Rd. 6 or East Oak Rd.
By John Mullen
Gulf Shores is acquiring 7.5 acres of right of way between two subdivisions on the north side of Coastal Gatewood Boulevard for a future roadway to eventually to connect south to County Road 6 or East Oak Road.
“This is a two-lane roadway from north of Coastal Gateway Boulevard to County Road 6,” Planning and Zoning Director Lee Jones told the council. “The reason for this is to relieve Highway 59 from some local traffic to allow some local trips on a parallel route to Highway 59.”
The initial part of construction will only be a about a quarter of a mile north from Coastal Gateway Boulevard to the planned entrance of Raley Farms Phase 3 on the west side of the right of way. The city already owns 40 acres on the south side of Coastal Gateway Boulevard it can use for right of way for that portion of the road. It will also likely be the site of a new high school in the future.
In November, the council rezoned the planned Raley Farms subdivision to allow for an 80-foot right of way on the eastern boundary of the development. An existing subdivision, Stonegate is on the east side of the right of way.
“In order to accommodate the loss of the 7.5 acres and the new roadway some of the lots needed to be reconfigured so the property was rezoned,” Jones said. “In order to protect the Stonegate residents this is an 80-foot right of way. That’s what was recommended in the major street plan. In working with the residents of Stonegate on the right of way the actual roadway was shifted away from those lots. There’s a setback of 40 feet. There’s a good native landscaping that exists on the buffer that’s there today. The concept is to preserve that buffer within that 40-foot segment as well as add any additional evergreen native materials to add to that buffer as this roadway is constructed.”
This new roadway is one of about 22 in the Planning Commission’s recently passed major street plan.
“Out of 22 projects in the major street plan this is identified as project number two,” Jones said. “It doesn’t mean this is priority number two, just project number two. It’s actually a mid-term priority. The major street plan identifies short-term, mid-term and long-term projects over the 20-year lifetime of the plan. The mid-term projects are six- to 10-year projects so it’s expected that this roadway be complete within this timeframe.”
During the July 12 city council meeting, the council voted to authorize negotiations to buy the land from developers for $79,000.
During The Meeting, Council:
• OK’d payment of $520,603 to Thompson Consulting Services for additional Debris Monitoring that was performed for Hurricane Sally. City Engineer Mark Acreman said the city has spent more than $10 million on Sally cleanup but would be reimbursed for 75 percent of that from FEMA and 12.5 percent from the state.
• OK’d Acreman’s request to ask ALDOT to reduce the speed limit along portions of State Route 180, or Fort Morgan Road, and State Route 59 to create a safer environment for pedestrians and motorists.
• OK’d a request by Library Director Wendy Congiardo to pursue an opportunity for grant funding in the amount of $24,480, provided by the Alabama Public Library Service (APLS), to purchase 16 desktop computers. Congiardo said the old computers would be available for use by other city departments.
• OK’d renewals of two state high school athletic events through 2026 between the city, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism and the Alabama High School Athletic Association. The Sportsplex will be home to the regional softball tournament through 2026 and the state championships for track and field in classes 7A-4A.
• Approved a new taxi franchise for Bama Beach Shuttle.
• Approved a franchise agreement with C-Spire for telecommunication services. C-Spire recently bought out Harbor Communications which previously provided those services to the city.
• IT Officer Mike Hawley to ask Council to approve a franchise agreement with C-Spire for comprehensive telecommunication services.
• Heard a request from Chief Building Official/Emergency Management Official Brandan Franklin to amend an ordinance to upgrade inspections of new construction to include requiring contractors to submit a subcontractor list to the Revenue Department, an electrical inspection and an approved sewer service inspection report prior to the city’s issuance of a certificate of occupancy.