Gulf Shores considers alcohol ban for third year

By: Crystal Cole/ Islander Editor
Posted 11/18/17

Banning alcohol on the beach during spring break weeks has caused some controversy among tourists, but has been a successful program according to Gulf Shores police.

In a memo to the city council …

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Gulf Shores considers alcohol ban for third year

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Banning alcohol on the beach during spring break weeks has caused some controversy among tourists, but has been a successful program according to Gulf Shores police.

In a memo to the city council at its most recent work session, Chief of Police Edward Delmore wrote that during the first several days of spring break 2016 GSPD encountered numerous issues with large groups of spring breakers. The force saw binge drinking and use of illegal narcotics which was creating a dangerous atmosphere for themselves and other visitors.

He felt the potential for large scale confrontations with police existed in a very real way and saw marked improvements following the ban.

“The first few days of 2016 during spring break probably as a result of a lot of other gulf coast communities tamping down on spring break issues, we had significant issues here on the beach,” Delmore said. “As a result, the council called an emergency meeting and banned alcohol on the beach for the remainder of spring break. The results were immediate and the results were wonderful. We did the same thing last year with the same type of results. We had a mixture of spring breakers and families on the beach, exactly the atmosphere we’re looking for. In light of that success, we’re asking the council to once again pass the temporary limited ban on alcohol during spring break.”

The police department is requesting no alcohol be allowed on the beach during the 2018 spring break season, which will run from March 3- April 8.

Included in the memo was a month-by-month comparison chart of sales and lodging tax over the last few years showing no negative economical impact from the alcohol ban.

Mobile vendor court

Also discussed at the work session was the proposed Marsh Landing Mobile Vendor Court. The conditional use permit would allow building of a 10-unit mobile vendor court at 700, 800 and 810 Gulf Shores Parkway.

The mixed-use development features a mobile vendor court, open air bar, kayak rentals, kids play areas and retail opportunities. The site plan has implanted sustainable development practices and has several educational art installations spread throughout.

Planning Director Any Bauer spoke to the council about the application and its sustainable practices.

“This property on this north side is connected to the brand new sidewalks we just built in this location,” Bauer said. “Going on to the southside, there is a proposed pedestrian bridge over the little canal that connects to the parking. The applicant is proposing all parking be pervious parking. The applicant also indicates they will use recycled oyster shells, recycled glass as part of the development.”

Also discussed at the meeting were:

-Rezoning 200 acres on the south west corner of the intersection of County Road 8 and the Foley Beach Express from agricultural to education.

-Public assembly permits for the Kaiser Coastal half marathon, 5k and fun run; the City of Gulf Shores lighted Christmas parade; the City of Gulf Shores Mardis Gras parade and the fourth annual Zydeco and Crawfish Festival.