Orange Beach hopes to work with State to allow resident parking at beach access points

Orange Beach hopes to work with State to allow resident parking at beach access points
Paid parking kiosks in the works for Cotton Bayou, Romar, and Alabama Point

Orange Beach City Council addressed the coming of pay parking on its state owned beaches at Cotton Bayou, Romar, Alabama Point and the shell parking lot east of Alabama Point during its March 16 joint work-regular session. Mayor Tony Kennon said the city would look for a way to get residents free parking through some kind of system by issuing passes.
“We do feel like there’s going to be a limited number of free passes for residents,” Kennon said. “Residents will not be property owners. Residents will be someone that actually lives in Orange Beach, has an Orange Beach driver’s license and an Orange Beach address.
Property owners are 20,000 plus or more. It would be overwhelming and it would not be a possibility to have negotiated any free passes.”
Passes would be limited to one per household, Kennon said, but how they will proceed is still not clear because the state has not activated its system yet.
“They are trying to get it up and running in two weeks,” Kennon said. “That’s their target. We’re not going to be ready to be set up for any citizens that would get free access, free parking. We can’t until they get their system and they don’t have their system together yet. We don’t know what we’re supposed to do.”
According to City Manager Ken Grimes, the way of implementing the system by the state is still evolving daily.
“We had some changes that we were presented today based on how they are going to operate the system,” Grimes said. “Those latest changes kind of throw us back to a decal.It was going to be license plates but now it’s gone back to a decal. We’ll keep you posted. We are definitely trying to get the information but we’re kind of in the heat of spring.”
Gulf State Park Director of Community Relations and Administration Gary Ellis said the fee amount for parking at the accesses has not yet been finalized. There about 600 parking spots at the four beach access points.
Gulf Shores has about 400 city paid parking lots at beach accesses and charges $5 for four hours or $10 for the whole day.

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