County commission approves Fort Morgan zoning change

Unanimous vote despite public opposition

By Cliff McCollum
Posted 2/27/17

A sizable number of Fort Morgan residents showed up to the last Baldwin County Commission meeting to express their displeasure about a possible property rezoning in their neighborhood.

The …

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County commission approves Fort Morgan zoning change

Unanimous vote despite public opposition

Posted

A sizable number of Fort Morgan residents showed up to the last Baldwin County Commission meeting to express their displeasure about a possible property rezoning in their neighborhood.

The property in question, located at the corner of 180 and Triple Tail Lane, is a 3.51 acre parcel that was seeking zoning change from B2 to RTF-4 to allow for the construction of duplexes.

Several nearby residents got up to speak in opposition to the proposed zoning change, saying it would affect property values and cause quality of life concerns.

“This will substantially increase the number of people trespassing about whom no one can do anything,” one resident said.

Several residents questioned how the zoning change might affect beach access as well.

“When somebody builds a duplex there, they’re going to have to walk 75 yards to get to Triple tail, 100 to Ponce de Leon and other 50 to get to the water,” nearby resident Warren Nicholson said. “What they’re going to do is drive down and park on our property. They aren’t going to walk 500 yards down to the beach carrying that stuff. They’re going to pitch their tent on our property, and it’s going to be a problem.”

The commissioners said while they appreciated the residents concerns, but there were some issues the commission didn’t have the authority to address.

“I know the situation everyone is facing down there with access to the beach, but that is something this commission can’t do anything about,” Commissioner Skip Gruber said.

Commissioner Frank Burt said he saw several vacant lots near to the property in question and said he didn’t see an issue with the zoning change.

“I really can’t see so much the opposition to having other residential sites there, whether it’s a duplex or a single family home,” Burt said.

Commission Chairman Chris Elliott said the zoning change from commercial to residential could actually be a benefit to nearby residents.

“Its impact as a residential designation would be less than as a commercial use,” Elliott said. “While I appreciate the overwhelming public sentiment on this, I do think this ultimately comes down to a question of property rights.”

The commission voted unanimously to approve the requested zoning change.