Gulf Shores approves new parade route, freeboard requirements

By Crystal Cole/Islander Editor
Posted 9/19/17

A new route for the Gulf Shores High School was approved at the city’s most recent council meeting.

In the wake of a traumatic Mardi Gras parade and in the interest of safety, the Gulf Shores …

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Gulf Shores approves new parade route, freeboard requirements

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A new route for the Gulf Shores High School was approved at the city’s most recent council meeting.

In the wake of a traumatic Mardi Gras parade and in the interest of safety, the Gulf Shores High School homecoming parade will avoid Hwy 59 entirely this year.

The new route will see the parade head north on Dolphin Way, loop around Meyer Park and cut through Gulf Shores First Presbyterian Church before returning to the high school.

“This is a very good, safe route as far as the traffic congestion and not impeding the flow,” Said Grant Brown, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Director. “We’ve run this route through all of our city departments, and we’re in favor of allowing this modification.”

In February a car associate with the annual Mardis Gras parade accelerated into a crowd of school-aged band members, sending a dozen to area hospitals. The event shook the island community and has caused the city to reevaluate its parade policies.

“We worked very closely with Donald Stewart, our city attorney, we worked with our internal staff and our police department and fire department to review another of other communities’ parade policies and procedures,” Brown said. “We’ve come up with a new parade policy. It’s an application that the school is using in order to properly vet the applicants who are participating in the parade. It’s got the age of the driver, insurance requirements on vehicles. So this brings up another future discussion point about parades in general- the Mardi Gras parade and the Christmas parade. We plan to in the next couple of weeks discuss with yall the pluses and minuses of parades in general.”

Drivers in the parade this year will also be required to attend a mandatory meeting through the police department.

Also approved at the regular council were:

-Adjust freeboard to one foot for all residential construction located within AE and VE Flood Zones south of State Highway 180 in the wake of new FEMA requirements.

-A rezoning request of seven acres by Paradise Marine from general business to business arterial. General business does not allow for the sale of boats and RVs, so the annexation of that property had been previously classified as a legal nonconforming use.

-Three homeland security grants for police department equipment. All the grants are reimbursement grants, requiring the city front the money to be paid back in full. The grants are for search and recovery gear, rapid emergency deployment system and jersey barriers.

-An update of Mud Bugs’ liquor license from a retail liquor license to a lounge liquor license. The change comes in response to decreases in the amount of food served at the popular island watering hole. ABC is requiring the change, which might require a zoning change to allow for the permitted use.

- Public assembly permits for Big Beach Brewing Company’s first anniversary, Grace Lutheran Church Blessing Of Animals and the City of Gulf Shores’ Waterway Village Fall Block Party.