Gulf Coast Media: Year in Review

Posted Thursday, December 29, 2022 12:11 pm
By Allison Marlow, Managing Editor



Several times during the year, officials addressed the need to slow the building spread happening across the county.

Foley officials placed a moratorium on new residential housing for two months while the city addressed changing code requirements. Daphne officials extended a moratorium on rezoning for multifamily development for another six months while city officials worked on a long-range plan for the municipality.

The Mobile Bay National Estuary Program gathered a host of the county's leaders to address the way growth and development are impacting local watersheds. Officials with the group said the increase in roofs, concrete and asphalt has stopped water from soaking into the ground. That is causing higher sediment loads to be dumped into local streams.

The average amount of sediment expected to be carried by a creek is about 64 tons a year, an official said.

Studies conducted for the Mobile Bay NEP found that Red Gully on the Eastern Shore is carrying more than 15,000 tons of sediment a year. Tatumville Gully is carrying 5,581 tons, Rock Creek is carrying 4,644 tons, and a Fly Creek tributary is carrying 1,636 tons.


While many parcels of land are being sold to developers, cities are also spending money on keeping Baldwin green.

Spanish Fort bought 144 acres of waterfront property on the Mobile-Tensaw Delta to be developed as a nature park and recreation area.

Spanish Fort City Council voted April 18 to buy the property, once intended for multi-family development, known as Cypress Point for more than $8.41 million. The city received a grant of $8.5 million through the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act, known as GOMESA, program.

In Fairhope, the city council voted to set deed restrictions on a 144-acre site known as The Triangle. The property will be developed as a park and green space.

In Orange Beach, Baldwin County's boat launch on the Intracoastal Waterway, built at a cost of more than $10 million, was dedicated in October. The Launch at ICW provides needed public access to coastal waters for residents and visitors, state and local officials said. The 47-acre site on the north bank of the waterway east of the Baldwin County Bridge Company toll bridge includes 1,700 feet of water frontage, six boat launches, a large parking lot as well as walking trails, bridges and fishing piers.

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